An Archive of the Catastrophe: Recovering the Unused Footage of Claude Lanzmann’s “Shoah”


ACLS Fellowship Program


World Languages


This project undertakes the first comprehensive examination of the 220 hours of testimonies Claude Lanzmann excluded from his 1985 cinematographic opus, “Shoah.” It draws on this unused footage to reframe the paradigmatic status of Lanzmann’s canonical work on the Holocaust and challenge decades of theoretical discourses on trauma, witnessing, and the limits of representation sustained by the finished film. Extending well beyond a reconstruction of the film’s making between 1973 and 1985, the study demonstrates that the excluded interviews subsist as critical and significant texts in unearthing new meanings and mobilizations of the film and, more broadly, Holocaust testimony.