Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Night and Fog - Criterion Collection|
Actors: Michel Bouquet, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Hitler, Julius Streicher
Director: Alain Resnais
Genres: Indie & Art House, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night and Fog (... more »
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A Pure Distillation of the Images of the Holocaust
Deborah Hampton | Hixson, TN USA | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw "Night and Fog" in a 16mm format when I was a senior in high school in 1970. So powerful and devastating was the imagery of this extraordinary short documentary, that it took me another 30 years to be able to watch other films on the Holocaust, such as "Schindler's List." When I saw "Night and Fog," I said to myself, "No other film needs to be made about the Holocaust. This is the definitive film." The stark, black and white images are devastating and powerful. In reading about the availability the film on video, I was astonished to see that the film had been made in 1955, so soon after the war. In the ensuing 45 years, it has lost none of its potency. For me, this is still the film that set the standard for all subsequent work on the Holocaust. Resnais' treatment of this subject will still burn the images right onto your retina.I have since seen other films depicting the Holocaust, including "Schindler's List" and "Life is Beautiful," both of which were excellent. But "Night and Fog" is still the one work that will shake you to your marrow. I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in the late 70's, and the emotional experience was identical to and of the same wrenching caliber as watching "Night and Fog."Truth is truth. We need to look at it, even when it would be more comfortable to turn away. Thank God someone like Resnais had the courage to tell the truth of the Holocaust in a ruthless and inescapable way that holds us all accountable. "Night and Fog" should give us all the courage to call evil by its name out loud when we see it, and to stand together to stop it. This should be required viewing for everyone."
Not just about the Holocaust
K. Garner | the midwest | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alain Resnais's short, lasting a mere 31 minutes, is justifably famous as the first film to explore the Holocaust after the Second World War (it was released in 1955). More than just a depiction of the events, the film primarily concerned with the filmmaker's inability to convey the historical reality of the event. The colorful scenes Resnais shot of the abandoned camps are contrasted with horrific black-and-white images of Nazi brutality - decapitated skulls gathered in a bucket, a mountain of womens' hair, the living skeletons of the newly-liberated camps - and Resnais asks himself (and us): how can we possibly comprehend, in the safety of being a spectator, the immeasurable inhumanity and suffering of this event? What would it profit us or history as a whole even if we could? Would it really prevent human atrocities from recurring? The film is best seen as a philosophical exploration rather than a history lesson - indeed, if you don't know at least the key events of the Nazi Regime, you'll find Resnais' elisions confusing. It is still a potent and unsettling film and, within its mere 31 minutes, opened up questions about artistic responsibility and representation that persist today about the Holocaust and other filmed depictions of human atrocities."
The single most compelling holocaust film ever made
Tiger85@aol.com (John Chludzinski) | New Jersey | 02/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this film in a high school history class 20 years ago, before the subject was at all topical or widely-studied. "Night and Fog" I felt was the perfect title - "Night" because it was the darkest period in human history, and "Fog" because it showed us how the rest of the world was blinded to the abject horror of the concentration camps. Later movies and documentaries have never come close to the impact of this film for the reason that the directors have not had the stomach Alain had to use the actual Nazi footage from dachau, bergen belsen and other locations. That is what makes this film so shocking - it's real, not dramatized. No film library of WW2 is complete without it."
Mindshattering, somber, disturbing
jaglom | Iowa | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't quite explain the intensity and the power this film contains. We talk about the Holocaust, we hear 6 million jews died, 12 million total, we may even see a film like Life is Beautiful, which scratches the surface to what went on inside the camps. But nothing can prepare you for the sheer mindshattering power of this film. It is a brief, stark film, shot in black and white and goes on for only a halfhour. But instead of adding dramatic flourishes, or light intonations, it simply shows images of the horror that was the Holocaust. A musical score flows throughout the background as you are hit with an assault of image after image of what went on behind the camp gates. You can watch the goriest film with practices 100x as bizarre, but they wont disturb you nearly as much as seeing an entire storeroom filled with hair cut off from the victims of this atrocity or pictures of human beings that stand there as mere skeletons. The narrator shows incredible constraint in his tone and his line of comments. He simply provides a framework for the images and probes the viewer, "Why did this happen? How could we allow this to go on?" Not for young children. It stays with you. If it doesn't disturb you, if it doesn't deeply affect you, you may have to question the depth of your humanity."