Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nuit et brouillard (Night and Fog) (1955)

Today's film is a documentary called Night and Fog.  It shows the history and aftermath of the Holocaust.  This film manages to deliver in 30 minutes what other documentaries take 9 hours to achieve.

The film alternates between the color film of the present, and black and white film of the past.  It shows how the camps were built, and what happened in those camps.  The man providing the voiceover commentary actually was a prisoner inside one of those camps.

One interesting thing is that this documentary doesn't provide any personal sob stories.  Over 9 million people died and we can't hear all of their stories.  The film shows the gas chambers, ovens, and piles of bodies.  When the Allies came in to liberate the camps, they didn't know anyone's story.  All they saw were the piles and piles of dead bodies and that was enough.  With this film we see exactly what they saw.  So it's like going back in time with them.

The film says that the prisoners were distinguished by their uniform, but doesn't go much further into it.  That's because the filmmakers wanted us to know that it was more than just Jews that were killed.  The filmmakers also said that this was an allegory for the French invasion of Algeria and they didn't want to favor any particular race.  That's why some of the camps they filmed were in France.  I remember that we watched Schindler's List in school, and I wish they would make students watch this film too.  It was very informative and emotional.  I will give it a 9/10.

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