Best Movies by Farr
The Last of the Unjust Poster
Released Runtime Category
2014 218 Documentary
Director Language
Claude Lanzmann French
Benjamin Murmelstein, Claude Lanzmann

The Last of the Unjust

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What's it About

While working on his epic “Shoah” in 1975, director Lanzmann spent a week interviewing Rabbi Murmelstein (the interviews were not included in his Holocaust opus). During the war, Murmelstein had been the last Jewish Elder at the Theresienstadt concentration camp north of Prague. Theresienstadt served as a transit station for Jews about to be deported to the East. Publicly, it was portrayed as a “model ghetto” by Adolf Eichmann, and Murmelstein’s role in its day-to-day operations became a highly controversial affair.

Why we love it

Continuing his probing of the Holocaust, Lanzmann draws out personal recollection to explore whether this devout Jew was complicit in the victimization of his people. Murmelstein compares himself to Scheherazade, and indeed his storytelling abilities are elaborate and captivating. Lanzmann’s incisive commentary often stands in counterpoint to Murmelstein’s detailed but sometimes evasive memories of the ghetto. Eloquent and more pragmatic than principled, Murmelstein remains a contradictory, almost tragic, figure.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"