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aka - Nuit Et Brouillard
France 1955
Directed by
Alain Renais
32 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Night And Fog

Named after Hitler’s Nacht und Nebel policy in which millions of people across Europe were deported to concentration camps and thereby, their death, the power of Alain Resnais' classic holocaust documentary,  filmed only 10 years after the end of WWII, inheres as much in the gruesome reality of what is depicted as it does in anything that the director brings to the project. It is impossible to see archival footage of the Nazi’s bulldozers tumbling piles of corpses into mass graves without wondering what is wrong with Homo Sapiens.

Having said that Renais’ juxtaposition of the silent, abandoned site of Auschwitz with archival material from the camps in operation combined with Holocaust-survivor Jean Cayrol’s trenchant narration (which he wrote with uncredited contributions from Chris Marker) creates a haunting, absolutely condemnatory document of one (and sadly it is only one) of the great horrors of human history.




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