Shoah: Four Sisters (2018): Claude (Shoah) Lanzmann’s Final Documentary

Claude Lanzmann’s final documentary Shoah: Four Sisters, shown at the Cannes and New York Film Festivals, opens in NY on November 14, followed by a national roll out.
Composed of four segments, The Hippocratic Oath, The Merry Flea, Noah’s Ark, and Baluty,  Shoah: Four Sisters will be released theatrically in two parts.

Starting in 1999, Lanzmann made several films comprised of interviews conducted in the 1970s that did not make it into the final work. In the last years of the director’s life, he decided to devote a film to four women from four different areas of Eastern Europe with four different destinies.

Each woman improbably survived after war: Ruth Elias from Ostravia, Czechoslovakia (The Hippocratic Oath); Paula Biren from Lodz, Poland (Baluty); Ada Lichtman from further south in Krakow (The Merry Flea) and Hannah Marton from Cluj, or Kolozsvár, in Transylvania (Noah’s Ark).

As survivors of Nazi horrors, they tell their individual stories as crucial witnesses to the barbarism they had experienced.  “What they have in common,” wrote Lanzmann, “apart from the specific horrors that each one of them was subjected to, is their intelligence, an incisive, sharp and carnal intelligence that rejects all pretense and false reasons-in a word-idealism.”  

Lanzmann, acclaimed filmmaker, journalist, and author, died in Paris on July 5, 2018.  He was buried at the Panthéon, the secular mausoleum where France’s most distinguished citizens are buried, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Marie Curie. 
Besides Shoah, Lanzmann’s films include: A Visitor from the Living; Sobibor, Oct 14, 1943, 4 pm; The Karski Report, and The Last of The Unjust.
His memoir, The Patagonian Hare, was published in the US in 2012.