World soundtrack awards
Les quatre soeurs (Part 2)
Archived: Les quatre soeurs (Part 2) (2018)

director: Claude Lanzmann

With: Claude Lanzmann, Paula Biren, Hanna Marton

duration: 132 minutes
Documentary, Historical

Serial Madness

On 14/10 you can attend the 4 films in KASKcinema. Click here for a ticket for the double bill (Part I ánd Part II).

"What they have in common, apart from the specific horrors each one of them was subjected to, is their intelligence, an incisive, sharp and carnal intelligence that rejects all pretence and false reason - in a word - idealism. Paula Biren, Ruth Elias, Ada Lichtman and Hanna Marton deserve to be etched for ever more in human memory." (Arte TV)

LES QUATRE SOEURS - Part I consists of:
Le serment d'Hippocrate - 90'
Ruth Elias was 17 when the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. After three years of hiding on a farm, the family was denounced and deported in to the Theresienstadt camp in April 1942. During the winter of 1943, Ruth found out she was pregnant - she then learned that she would be part of a convoy to Auschwitz. During a selection in June 1944 - when she was 8 months pregnant - she managed to be part of 1000 women sent to clear rubble at a refinery that had been bombed in Hamburg.

La puce joyeuse - 52'
Ada Lichtman was faced with absolute horror from the start: the day the Germans invaded Poland, all the men in Wieliczka - a little town near Kracow where she lived - were rounded up by the Germans, driven to a nearby forest and executed.
The blood-soaked bodies were laid out in a semi-circle, feet together and heads towards the edge as an artistic statement from the killers. From that moment on, Ada was haunted by a singular question: not "will I live or die?", but "how will I be killed?" This went on until her arrival in Sobibor, the last stop of the journey, where more than 250.000 Jews were exterminated in gas chambers; this, until the uprising of October 14, 1943. She is one of the mere 50 people who survived.

LES QUATRE SOEURS - Part II consists of:
L'Arche de Noé - 68'
In 1944, when the Nazis started deporting Jews from Hungary, Rudolf Kastner - a Zionist leader of the Aide and Rescue Committee - negotiated with Adolf Eichmann to secure a train boarded by 1684 Jews to leave for a neutral country in exchange for payment. Hanna Marton was one of the passengers.
Her consistently and relentlessly painful account during the shoot of Claude Lanzmann's 'Shoah' makes for an attempt at understanding how one can be part of a convoy which - with Eichmann's agreement - saved hundreds of Hungarian Jews while at the same time some 450.000 of their kin were either dying in the gas chambers of Birkenau, or burned alive in the open air in order to keep up with the pace the Nazis demanded.

Baluty - 64'
There are still archives, diaries and even some photos of the Lodz ghetto, but very few actual witness accounts from survivors. Paula Biren's is all the more exceptional, with her having been part of the ghetto's Jewish women police at the time. Her sharp eye for detail as well as her dazzling intelligence underscores her incredible testimony.
Of the hundred ghettos that dotted the Polish countryside, the one in Lodz had existed for the longest. It was ruled with an iron fist by the president of the Jewish council of elders, Chaim Mordechai Rumkowski, known as "King Chaim" - a man convinced he could save part of the community by turning them into manpower to serve the Germans.


director: Claude Lanzmann
producer: David Frenkel
screenplay: Claude Lanzmann
Editor: Chantal Hymans

production company: Synecdoche

More info

dialogue: French, German, English, Hebrew
subtitles: Eng subt.
Country: France
year: 2018


CLAUDE LANZMANN (1925-2018): Israel, Why (1973), Shoah (1985), Tsahal (1994), A Visitor from the Living (1999), Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001), Lights and Shadows (2008, short), Le rapport Karski (2010), The Last of the Unjust (2013), Napalm (2017), Les quatre soeurs (2018).

Technical Specs

format: DCP

Other festival films by director Claude Lanzmann

2018:Les quatre soeurs (Part 1)
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