Four Sisters, a quartet of Lanzmann documentaries that recently premiered at the New York Film Festival, avoids many of the pitfalls of the often-irascible documentarian’s lesser films by dint of its remarkable self-effacement. Devoted to the frequently jaw-dropping stories of four women who survived the Holocaust, the films—The Hippocratic Oath, Baluty, The Merry Flea, and Noah’s Ark— confirm that filmed oral history is Lanzmann’s métier. This seems particularly noteworthy in an era where the macro-historical approach of scholars such as Timothy Snyder has become embraced as the best conceptual tool for defining and explicating the Holocaust. The testimonies in Shoah, however, function superbly as micro-historical artifacts. Lanzmann’s choice to foreground women exclusively in Four Sisters is not addressed directly but could be considered either compensation for primarily featuring men in his cycle of Holocaust films or aligned to an implicit assertion that the women portrayed in the films possess a special brand of courage and perseverance.
1.70GB | 1 h 29 min | 1280×720 | mkv