New documentary intertwines decades-old interviews with contemporary footage
While capturing footage in 1975 for his breakout documentary "Shoah," a historical film released in 1985 made up mostly of first-person testimonies from Holocaust survivors, perpetrators, and other witnesses, filmmaker Claude Lanzmann recorded hours of interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the only "Elder of the Jews" to have survived the war. In this year's "The Last of the Unjust," 88-year-old Lanzmann finally debuts segments of his time spent with this polarizing figure. The Wexner Center this weekend will screen Lanzmann's nearly four-hour film at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Murmelstein, a former rabbi who was living in exile in Rome at the time of the interview and died 14 years ago, was the last president of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia and helped around 121,000 Jews leave the country, though he was scorned by many survivors. In his film, Lanzmann intertwines his decades-old interviews with Murmelstein, including footage of their return to Theresienstadt, with contemporary footage that offers insight into the life of the filmmaker himself. Admission is $8 or $6 for members, students and seniors.