Friday, July 9, 2010

Night and Fog (1955)

A friend of mine called me up furious after seeing this film. He wanted to know if I was home so he could come over and punch me in the face. Apparently the film deeply disturbed him and that my glowing description and assurance that the film wasn't the most graphic of Holocaust films didn't prepare him for the psychic wounds the film inflicted upon him.

One of the best films on the Holocaust, the film does what it does and gets off. It doesn't over stay its welcome or diminish the effect of the images by showing you too much. Its only 30 minutes long but it will hang for you long after the fact (if you want proof see the threat to my physical well being)

Nominally a mediation of the mass killings the film starts off with images of the camps ten years out. The camps were deserted and beginning to rust. The film then moves on a shifts gears and eventually we see images from when the camps were in operation.

Its a deceptively simply film that shouldn't work as well as it does. But the simplicity is the blind. It allows to creep up on you and kick your legs out from under you. It never allows you time to think or to steel yourself, it just hits you with the raw power and immensity of what happened.

For give me for not going into details, I really can't. The film is too brief, you just have to see this.

You do have to see this. In a time where people are beginning to question our past, we have to remember that these terrible things happened because odds are they will happen again.

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