To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the 2020 International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, Goethe-Institut Nigeria and Alliance Française, Lagos / Mike Adenuga Centre, have announced a joint screening of Claude Lanzmann’s ‘Shoah’ on January 27.
‘Shoah’ is a nine and half hours documentary film shot from 1974 to 1985. Surviving victims and perpetrators of the systematic extermination of Jews by the German Reich speak in the movie.
‘Shoah’, according to Lanzmann, is not a film about survival but a “testimonial of death”. It not only asks the witnesses to recall their experiences: Lanzmann’s questioning technique prompts his interviewees to relive past events.
His questions revolve around events at the sites where Jews were murdered such as Chelmno, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Warsaw Ghetto, laying open the bureaucratic mechanism of extermination.
The two culture organisations said that the screening is part of a worldwide event organised by the Internationales Literatur Festival Berlin to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp on January 27, 1945.
The screening will happen at the auditorium of Alliance Française Lagos / Mike Adenuga Centre in four parts. Part 1 will be from 10:15 to 12:50; Part 2 from 13:10 to 15:10; and Part 3 from 15:30 to 18:10. The last part would be screened between 18:30 to 20:55 and would be followed by a question and answer session till 21:30.
Parts 1 to 3 will start with brief introductions, providing some historical contextualization. The 4th part will be introduced by Nigerian historian and filmmaker, Ed Keazor, who will talk about different aspects of the culture of remembrance.
The organisers requested interested persons to arrive at the indicated start times “to keep the level of disturbance low in the cinema and out of respect for the topic of the documentary.”
The Berlinale awarded Lanzmann, the Honorary Golden Bear for his life’s work in 2013. His film is regarded as an ‘epochal masterpiece of memory studies’ But for whatever bizarre reasons, his film was only shown in the “Forum” in its year of release (1985) in Germany, hence the younger generations barely know him anymore.
‘Shoah’ was selected for this year to draw attention to the new wave of anti-Semitism, which is virulent worldwide – especially in the USA, United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
January 27, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust, was introduced by the United Nations in 2005 to commemorate the Holocaust and the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on January 27, 1945.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was the largest German extermination camp. About 1.1 million people were murdered there. A total of over 5.6 million people fell victim to the Holocaust.