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The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir by Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann publishes A Patagonian Hare: a Memoir later this month. Lanzmann is a filmaker, writer, existentialist thinker, French resistance fighter in WWII, traveller, editor of Le Temps Moderne, founded by his friend Jean-Paul Sartre. His greatest achievement is still his film Shoah (1985) that records the witnesses – many now dead – of the Shoah [Holocaust]. Simone de Beauvoir remarked that she could not have imagined ‘such a combination of horror and beauty’ as in this remarkable film. At over nine and a half hours, this film requires much of us. It is our duty and privilege – in Hebrew, a mitzvah – to watch it. Lanzmann filmed it over the course of eleven years, using no archive footage, no visual record of atrocity. The scenes are filmed in the beautiful Polish countryside. We follow the rusting railway tracks into the forests.

Read the Observer interview with Lanzmann, 4/3/12.

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