ZIVA POSTEC: The Woman Who Edited Shoah

A film by Catherine Hébert
2018, 92 minutes
No. 244

ZIVA POSTEC: The Woman Who Edited Shoah

In 1985, Claude Lanzmann debuted one of the most monumental cinematic works of all time, Shoah, the nine hour documentary on the Holocaust told through interviews with both perpetrators as well as survivors. Ziva Postec, the editor of Shoah, was an indispensable part of the project.

Postec dedicated six years of her life, from 1979 to 1985, working closely with Lanzmann, to construct the right pace and sequence for the 350 hours of footage. In this fascinating documentary, Postec recalls this gargantuan, painful and necessary experience, as well as revealing the the film's profound impact on her personal life. 

Supplemented with previously unseen images from the making of Shoah, Ziva Postec is a moving portrait of an artist who for a long time has largely gone unnoticed, eclipsed by the towering presence of her male colleague.

Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam
Official Selection, Montreal International Documentary Festival
Official Selection, Jerusalem Film Festival

"The untold story of the woman who helped make a landmark Holocaust film. The documentary explores what would drive someone to devote so many years of their life to such a grueling undertaking, and at what cost. It’s also a warm portrait of a fascinating life beyond her definitive cinematic achievement, one filled with leaps of faith, tragedy, obsession, and working relationships with some of the great artists of the time, including Alain Resnais and Orson Welles.” — Hyperallergic

"Ziva highlights Ziva Postec and her importance in the development of the film Shoah… Her work and the editing process was instrumental in empowering the voices of these survivors. The film underscores the need to give survivors a place where they can openly remember and tell their stories.” - Films for the Feminist Classroom