"The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached Claude Lanzmann in 1973 and suggested that, with Israel's backing, he make a documentary film about the murder of the European Jews. Lanzmann was and is a French journalist, and his qualifications for undertaking such a project were obvious at a glance. He had spent many years producing copy for the glossy French magazine Elle and, then again, for mass-readership newspapers. He sat on the editorial committee of Jean-Paul Sartre's magazine Les Temps Modernes. He was handy with a film camera. Also, he had displayed an acute sympathy for the plight of the Israelis -- a less-than-universal trait even in those days. [...] Even now Lanzmann remains the editor of Les Temps Modernes, which makes him Sartre's heir, institutionally speaking. Here is the torment of the assimilated Jewish left -- a giant theme, which cries out for its Virgil or its Dante. [...]"
Paul Berman, "The Witness. The Patagonian Hare, by Claude Lanzmann." The New York Times, August 10, 2012
Background Image: Domenico di Michelino, Dante and His Comedy, 1465