The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum invites you to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Centre for Tolerance of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, on 26 January 2011 at 10.00 a.m.
The Centre for Tolerance of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum presents the international prize winning documentary cycle “Shoah” created by the French director Claude Lanzmann (b. 1925), which lasts nine and a half hours. From 10.00 a.m. until 8.00 p.m. the cycle of the documentary movies will be shown without intervals in the movie hall of the Centre for Tolerance. Visitors can come and go at their convenience all day long. Shoah premiered in Paris in 1985. After watching the documentaries, the famous French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir expressed her opinion to the French newspaper La Monde: “I have never imagined such a combination of beauty and horror... A real masterpiece.” The premiere of the film had a great impact on the world from the cinematographic and historical aspect – the dialectics of the film became the subject of articles, books, seminars.
While recording the memories of the Jewish survivors, German perpetrators and Polish peasants bystanders, Lanzmann brakes from the pure historical documentary genre. His movies come close to meditation, emphatically modernist in form, on the genocide of the European Jews. In these movies, we meet the Polish barber, who used to shave off the hair from the heads of the Jewish women destined to be gassed in several minutes. As well as the Jewish survivor, who was forced to sing merry songs for his Nazi guards, while they were casting the ashes of the cremated Jews into the Narew River. In one of the first shots of Shoah we meet Simon Srebnik, a modern incarnation of Orpheus. He repeats the songs, which he was singing to the Nazis, when he was a teenager. His small boat, gliding in the river, takes us to the world of the dead – existing not in the past, but now and always. This is the abyss of Shoah, which opened during the years of war.
The film will be shown in French, with English subtitles. Free admission.