THE LAST OF THE UNJUST

December 10, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

USC Shoah Foundation, Outside the Box [Office], and Cohen Media Group invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

The Last of the Unjust

 
Directed by Claude Lanzmann
Produced by David Frenkel,
Jean Labadie, and Danny Krausz
 
Preceded by a Q&A with Claude Lanzmann

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
 
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The event will begin with a 30-minute discussion with Claude Lanzmann, hosted by Stephen Smith, Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation.

Official Selection:
2013 Cannes Film Festival
2013 Toronto International Film Festival
2013 New York Film Festival

About The Last of the Unjust

1975. In Rome, Claude Lanzmann filmed a series of interviews with Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto in Czechoslovakia, the only “Elder of the Jews” (according to Nazi terminology) not to have been killed during the war. A rabbi in Vienna, following the annexation of Austria by Germany in 1938, Murmelstein fought bitterly with Adolf Eichmann, week after week for seven years, managing to help around 121,000 Jews leave the country, and preventing the liquidation of the ghetto.

2012. Claude Lanzmann, at 87 – without masking anything of the passage of time on men, but showing the incredible permanence of the locations involved – exhumes these interviews shot in Rome, returning to Theresienstadt, the town “given to the Jews by Hitler”, a so-called model ghetto, but a ghetto of deceit chosen by Adolf Eichmann to dupe the world. We discover the extraordinary personality of Benjamin Murmelstein: a man blessed with a dazzling intelligence and a true courage, which, along with an unrivaled memory, makes him a wonderfully wry, sardonic and authentic storyteller. 

Through these three periods, from Nisko in Poland to Theresienstadt, and from Vienna to Rome, the film provides an unprecedented insight into the genesis of the Final Solution. It reveals the true face of Eichmann, and exposes without artifice the savage contradictions of the Jewish Councils.

Provided courtesy of Cohen Media Group. Rated PG-13. Running time: 218 minutes. In German, French, and English, with English subtitles.

Visit the Official Website: http://cohenmedia.net/the-last-of-the-unjust/

 

About the Guest

CLAUDE LANZMANN (Director)

Born in Paris on 27 November 1925, Claude Lanzmann was one of the organizers of the Resistance at the Blaise Pascal high school in Clermont-Ferrand in 1943. He took part in the urban Resistance effort, then the fightingin the maquis, in the surrounding Auvergne countryside.

As a reader at the University of Berlin during the Berlin blockade, he met Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in 1952, becoming friends. Since then, he hascontinually contributed to the review Les Temps Modernes, and today is the director of the publication. Up to 1970, his activities were divided between Les Temps Modernes and journalism, writing numerous articles and pieces of reportage, with an unswerving fidelity to Israel, which he first visited in 1952,and staying true to his anti-colonialist convictions. Signatory of the Manifesto of the 121, which denounced repression in Algeria and called for conscientious objection, he was one of the ten indicted. He then ran a special issue of Les Temps Modernes dedicated to the Israeli-Arab conflict, in which, for the first time, Arabs and Israelis laid out their reasoning together.

Since 1970, Claude Lanzmann has worked exclusively in filmmaking. He directed the film ISRAEL, WHY, partly intended as a response to his former fellow anti-colonialists who refused to understand that having wanted independence for Algeria, one could want the survival of Israel. The premiere was held at the New York Festival on 7 October 1973, a few hours after the start of the Yom Kippur War.

Claude Lanzmann began towork on SHOAH in the summer of 1974, and making this film was a full-time occupation for him for 12 years. Upon its worldwide release in 1985, the film was considered a major event, both historically and cinematographically. Ever since, SHOAH has had lasting reverberations.

After ISRAEL, WHY and SHOAH came a film about the Israel Defense Army, TSAHAL, which dealt with fear and the conquest of courage, about weapons, about the re-appropriation of force and violence by Jews. It was the last part of a trilogy that Claude Lanzmann had been nurturing for years.

A VISITOR FROM THE LIVING (1997), his fourth film, was based on an interview that Maurice Rossel gave to him in 1979 during the filming of SHOAH. It constitutes a unique document in the annals of the Second World War: Berlin delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross from 1942, Maurice Rossel was the only member of that organization to have visited Auschwitz in 1943. He also inspected the “model ghetto” of Theresienstadt in June 1944.

SOBIBOR, OCTOBER 14, 1943, 4PM, Claude Lanzmann’s fifth film, was part of the Official Selection at the Festival de Cannes in 2001 (out of competition).

In 2009, Claude Lanzmann published the book The Patagonian Hare, a dazzling account of his life traversing the 20th century, which became a bestseller in France, Germany and the United States. In 2012, he published The Tomb of the Divine Diver. He has been awarded the Resistance Medal with rosette, and is a Grand Officer of the Légion d’Honneur, and Grand Officer of the National Order of Merit.

On 14 February 2013, the Berlin Film Festival presented him with a Golden Bear in recognition of his life’s work.

FILMOGRAPHY:

2013      THE LAST OF THE UNJUST
2010      THE KARSKI REPORT
2001      SOBIBOR, OCTOBER 14, 1943, 4PM
1997      A VISITOR FROM THE LIVING
1994      TSAHAL
1985      SHOAH
1973      ISRAEL, WHY

About the Moderator

DR. STEPHEN D. SMITH (Executive Director of the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education)

Stephen founded the UK Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire, England and cofounded the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity and genocide. He was also the inaugural Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, which runs the National Holocaust Memorial Day in the United Kingdom. In 2009, Holocaust Memorial Day included over five hundred public memorial events. 

Stephen is involved in memorial projects around the world. He was the project director responsible for the creation of the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda and provided consultation for the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, where he still serves as a trustee.

Stephen is a theologian by training with a particular interest in the impact of the Holocaust on religious and philosophical thought and practice. He wrote his dissertation on the “Trajectory of Memory,” examining how Holocaust survivor narrative — and in particular, visual history — has developed over time and shapes the way in which the implications of the Holocaust are understood.

Stephen is an international speaker, lecturing widely on issues relating to the history and collective response to the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity. His publications include Making Memory: Creating Britain’s First Holocaust Centre; Forgotten Places: The Holocaust and the Remnants of Destruction; and The Holocaust and the Christian World. He has taught extensively in Lithuania and has been a member of the International Task Force for Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research since its inception in 1998.

In recognition of his work, Stephen has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire and received the Interfaith Gold Medallion, the Andrew Cross Award for religious broadcasting, and Honorary Doctorate of Law from Leicester University.

Stephen is committed to making the testimony of survivors of the Holocaust and of other crimes against humanity a compelling voice for education and action. His leadership at the USC Shoah Foundation is focused on finding strategies to optimize the effectiveness of the testimonies for education, research, and advocacy purposes.

PUBLICATIONS:

  • Never Again, Yet Again, A Personal Struggle with the Holocaust and Genocide (Gefen 2009)
  • No Going Back, Letters to Pope Benedict XVI (Quill Press 2009)
  • The Void; In Search of Memory Lost (forthcoming)

About USC Shoah Foundation

USC Shoah Foundation — The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audiovisual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute’s current collection of nearly 52,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes.

Visit the Shoah Foundation website: http://sfi.usc.edu/

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

 
Contact Information

Name: Krystal Szabo
Email: kszabo@dornsife.usc.edu