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Directed by Claude Lanzmann

France 2013 220 mins.

In 1975, while making his landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein. Age 70 and living in exile in Rome, Murmelstein was the only surviving “Jewish Elder” appointed by the Nazis to run the “model ghetto” camp at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Murmelstein’s interview wasn’t included in Shoah, but it’s the focus of this compelling postscript. Condemned after the war as a collaborator, he explains the terrible accommodation he had to strike with a murderous regime. Lanzmann returns to sites that marked Murmelstein’s wartime experiences and uncovers their savage history, but it’s the intelligent, witty, courageous Murmelstein who provides the film’s most compelling testimony. Comparing himself to Scheherazade from “The Arabian Nights,” Murmelstein survived, he tells Lanzmann, because he “had a story to tell.”



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.