Critic's Choice

Marcel Ophüls' war crimes doc 'The Memory of Justice' gets new life

Critically lauded but little seen during its original 1976 release, "The Memory of Justice," Marcel Ophüls' powerful documentary about individual versus collective responsibility for war crimes, is about to get a new lease on life.

Considered by the director (also known for “The Sorrow and the Pity”) to be “the best work I ever did,” “Justice” debuts on HBO2 on April 24, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Unavailable for decades and the product of a 10-year restoration process, this version also improves on the original release by replacing English voice-over with subtitles for its French and German interviewees.

Drawing parallels between the precedent set at the post-World War II Nuremberg Trials with later actions committed by the French in Algeria and the U.S. in Vietnam, "Justice" is as relevant today as when it came out, if not more so.

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Kenneth.Turan@latimes.com

@KennethTuran

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