Sunday, January 09, 2011


Critic David Denby (New Yorker, Jan. 10) writes about the re-realease of Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah". He asks why the re-release (on the documentary's 25-year anniversary) and answers by alluding to fact that we now have Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands which I have mentioned a couple of times.

The book provides context that many of us (Denby notes) had not really understood when we first viewed "Shoah" years ago. "... the Nazis and the Soviets may have been trying to destroy each other in the ferocious combat of 1941-1945, but, if one looks at the entire thirteen-year period [1933-1945] that he [Snyder] describes, the two totalitarian powers occasionally acted in a weird kind of concert, in which each side emboldened and enabled the other."

Having this story available, Denby suggests that we see Lanzmann's work again.