A Holocaust survivor describes being forced to unload his own wife and children from a van full of corpses. A former Nazi proudly details the process of exterminating 15,000 people per day. Polish farmers laughingly recall drawing fingers across their throats to ”warn” Jews bound for Treblinka. These are some of the voices of Claude Lanzmann’s 91/2-hour opus, unavailable on video since 1993. It’s a profoundly moving, at times emotionally overwhelming testament.
Reel Goodies A Treblinka villager chillingly sums up the plight of trainloads of people: ”They waited, they wept, they asked for water, they died.” The Last Detail Lanzmann’s ”A Visitor From the Living,” comprised of footage shot during the making of ”Shoah,” will be released in 2000.