Guest / Limited Access /
TIFF Update - Day 2: The Last of the Unjust and Mission Congo

Editor's Note: We can't all make it to the Toronto International Film Festival (which is too bad, since it's where some of the best films of the next year will be shown). But CT has the next best thing: daily updates during the Festival from our critic Ken Morefield. Stay tuned for the next week for capsule reviews and reflections on some of the world's most important movies.

The Last of the Unjust (Le Dernier de Injustes), directed by Claude Lanzmann
Mission Congo, directed by Lara Zizic and David Turner

Claude Lanzmann's Shoah is sui generis, a universally respected nine and-a-half hour documentary, and possibly as close as one can get to a definitive historical account of the Holocaust. Last of the Unjust is more limited in scope, but it is an important historical document in its own right.

Lanzmann builds the film around a sustained interview in 1975 with Benjamin Murmelstein, a Jewish Elder at Theresienstadt who spent eighteen months in a Czech prison before eventually being acquitted of collaborating with the Nazis. The result is a dialogue between two rigorously honest men. It explores the boundaries of moral and ethical responsibility when faced with circumstances that remain unfathomable to those who have not lived through them.

The interview segments are certainly intellectually challenging. But when Lanzmann reads from Murmelstein's book describing the camp operations while literally retracing the steps taken by Jews from the train station to the camp, the result is something quietly, almost unbearably, painful.

One of the great achievements of Last of the Unjust is the way it forces us to reexamine some of our most dearly held assumptions. I've always believed that a long view ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueA Critical Care Surgeon Meets the Great Physician
A Critical Care Surgeon Meets the Great Physician
I felt distant from God until I witnessed a medical miracle.
RecommendedCan ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’ Raise Christian Movies from the Dead?
Can ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’ Raise Christian Movies from the Dead?
The church-friendly comedy aims to replace cringes with laughs—but does it succeed?
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
Christianity Today
TIFF Update - Day 2: The Last of the Unjust and Mission Congo
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

September 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.