This is my entry for “N” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. Some other “N” documentaries I’ve reviewed are Nanook of the North, New York: A Documentary Film, The 1964 World’s Fair, The Night James Brown Saved Boston, No-No: A Dockumentary, and NOVA: Iceman Reborn.
Title: Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard)
Release Date: 1956
Director: Alain Resnais
Production Company: Argos Films
This is a movie I wanted to watch and felt important to watch, but nevertheless didn’t want to see. Made a decade after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps in Europe, this is one of the first films to document the horrors of the Holocaust. The structure of the film mirrors the experience of the people imprisoned in the camps. It begins with their arrest and transport by train. Arriving at the camps, the people are stripped of clothing and shaved of hair and humiliated in thousands of ways. Daily camp life involves forced labor, frequent humiliation, and hunger due to meager rations. Then there is mass murder which this movie is unflinching in depicting.
The filmmakers intercut contemporary film of the abandoned concentration camps in color with black and white film and photographs taken during their time of use. Jean Cayrol, a poet who survived the concentration camps, wrote the narration which is delivered by actor Michel Bouquet. The movie asks us to remember the full horror of the Holocaust and recognize that it can happen again.