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Claude Lanzmann, director of 'Shoah' documentary, dies at 92

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French director Claude Lanzmann on 21 May 2017 during a photocall for the film 'Napalm' at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival Loïc Venance/AFP

French film-maker and writer Claude Lanzmann, director of the landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah which runs more than nine hours long, died in Paris on Thursday at the age of 92, his publisher said.


"Claude Lanzmann died at his home. He had been very, very weak for several days," a spokeswoman for publishing house Gallimard told the AFP news agency.

His death was also confirmed by a press officer for his final film, The Four Sisters, which was released in France just this week.

Lanzmann had never stopped working, regularly presenting films which often took their inspiration from chapters of his own life.

Last year for example he presented at the Cannes film festival Napalm, about his brief but intense romance with a North Korean nurse in 1958.

But it was the 1985 release of Shoah (the French word for Holocaust), considered by many the most haunting film made about the murder of six million Jews during World War II, which propelled him to global acclaim.

The nine-and-a-half hour work consists largely of interviews with survivors and witnesses of Nazi death camps in Poland, alongside chilling images of where the horrors occurred.

"If I am unstoppable it's because of the truth, which I believe in profoundly," he said in an interview ast year.

"When I look at what I did in my life, I believe that I came to represent the truth, I never played with it."

November 27, 1925: He is born at Bois-Colombes, near Paris.

1943: Joins the French resistance against the German occupation.

1952: Becomes friends with renowned existentialist philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. He soon begins a romantic relationship with Beauvoir which will last until 1959.

1972: His first film Pourquoi Israel (3Israel, Why") is released.

1985: The release of Shoah, which took 12 years to make.

2009: Lanzmann publishes his memoirs, Le Lièvre de Patagonie ("The Patagonian Hare").

2013: He receives a lifetime achievement award at the Berlin International Film Festival. His documentary Le Dernier des Injustes ("The Last of the Unjust"), about a rabbi in a concentration camp, is released the same year.

2017: Napalm, which tells of his brief but intense romance with a North Korean nurse in 1958, is presented at the Cannes Film Festival.

4 July 2018: His final film Les Quatre Soeurs ("The Four Sisters"), about women who survived the Holocaust, is released in France.

5 July 2018: He dies at his home in Paris, aged 92.

(with AFP)