IFC Films has acquired US rights to the Holocaust documentary Shoah and will release it in New York on December 24 ahead of a nationwide roll-out.

Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-half hour landmark documentary first opened 25 years ago and took 12 years to make. The film does not contain any historical footage but features interviews that seek to “reincarnate” the Jewish experience and also visits places where wartime atrocities took place.  

“It is a profound honour to be entrusted with the re-release of Shoah by Claude Lanzmann and Pascal Caucheteux and our friends at Why Not Productions in Paris,” IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring said.

“We believe it is important to keep the legacy of this peerless film alive by bringing it to new audiences, and we will aggressively pursue younger audiences and critics to discover the film for the first time.”

“Museums come to terms with death and institute forgetting as well as memory,” Lanzmann said. “On the contrary, Shoah, because it is an incarnation, because nothing will ever replace Abraham Bomba’s tears, Filip Muller’s reverberating voice, or the minute-by-minute description of the executions in Treblinka by the Unterscharfuhrer Franz Suchomel or Polish train conductor Henrik Gavkowski, Shoah is an absolute barricade, the true wall against oblivion.”

He continued: “It is high time to show it again, and I thank the young distributors at IFC Films for having understood this.”

IFC’s senior vice-president of acquisitions and productions Arianna Bocco brokered the deal with Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Productions on behalf of Lanzmann.