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March 23, 2012

Claude Lanzmann and The Karski Report

Presented in conjunction with the Center for European Studies, Harvard, and the Consulate General of France, Boston. Special thanks: Anne Miller, Eric Jausseran, Consulate General of France, Boston; Patricia Craig, Center for European Studies, Harvard; Delphine Selles Alvarez, French Cultural Services, New York; Sarah Streliski.

The Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History is also presenting a talk by Claude Lanzmann on Thursday March 22 at 6pm. For more information visit their website.

Special Event Tickets $12 - Claude Lanzmann in Person
Friday March 23 at 7pm

The Karski Report

Directed by Claude Lanzmann, Appearing in Person
France 2010, digital video, color, 49 min. In English

Claude Lanzmann’s place in film history is assured by his monumental documentary Shoah (1985) about the Nazi genocide of Europe’s Jews. That film’s production spread over twelve years, during which time Lanzmann amassed what amounted to an archive of interviews with survivors, former Nazis and other witnesses. For his latest film, Lanzmann has made available much more of the interview that is one of the most surprising parts of Shoah: the testimony of Jan Karski. A member of the Polish resistance, Karski was smuggled into the Warsaw ghetto to witness conditions there and then traveled to Washington DC to report what he had seen directly to President Roosevelt in 1943. The Karski Report (2010) returns to Lanzmann’s 1978 interview with Karski, in which Karski recounts both what he witnessed as well as what he reported. Karski is clearly still haunted both by what he saw and by his inability to prevent the Shoah from continuing. The Karski Report continues Lanzmann’s exploration of the use of cinema as both a historical methodology and a philosophical reflection on what it means to be a witness.

Courtesy of the Harvard Coop, copies of Claude Lanzmann's new memoir The Patagonian Hare will be on sale at the screening.

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