The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will premier the highly acclaimed program, “SHOAH: The Unseen Interviews” at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival tonight, May 7, at 7 p.m. in the Gindi Auditorium at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
Raye Farr, Director of the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Holocaust scholar Dr. Michael Berenbaum will host a discussion following the presentation.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival runs from May 3-10, 2012, with screenings at various theaters throughout Los Angeles.
Nearly 30 years after the debut of Claude Lanzmann’s “SHOAH,” the 9-hour epic considered to be one of the greatest filmic accounts of the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will present “SHOAH: The Unseen Interviews,” which contains footage shot for the landmark movie but never used in the film.
Shown for the first time in Los Angeles, this program features 55 minutes of previously unseen interviews from the Museum’s Claude Lanzmann “SHOAH,” Collection, which consists of 220 hours of footage and includes 70 individual interviews.
“SHOAH: The Unseen Interviews” includes the testimony of Abraham Bomba, a barber in the Treblinka killing center; details of American responses to the Holocaust from Peter Bergson; and Ruth Elias’s harrowing tale of survival in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The New Yorker notes that these interviews “add astonishing dimensions to the historical record and offer harrowing insights into moral psychology.”
“This program provides an invaluable account of the Holocaust from three unique perspectives,” said Michael J. Sarid, Western Regional Director at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The testimonies in the film offer an inside view into the machinery of death, the American response, and a heart-breaking yet inspirational story of survival.”
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive is one of the world’s most comprehensive resources for audiovisual records pertaining to the Holocaust and related aspects of World War II.
An invaluable repository of evidence for scholars and the general public alike, the Archive acquires and preserves film footage from sources throughout the United States and abroad and ensures the accurate documentation of all its holdings.
“The Los Angeles premier of ‘SHOAH: The Unseen Interviews’ presents a unique opportunity for people in Southern California to see rare and incredibly powerful footage shot for one of the most significant Holocaust films ever created,” said Farr.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosts programs throughout the Western region from Seattle to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego, including traveling exhibitions and lectures; the “Law, Justice and the Holocaust” educational program for California state judges; and the annual Teachers Forum on Holocaust Education, which trains thousands of California schoolteachers in how best to teach the Holocaust to young people.