TSPDT Greatest Films #284 Nuit et brouillard (Alain Resnais, 1955)
The 32 minutes documentary on the jew's mass extermination by the troops of the Third Reich, directed by the French master Alain Resnais with the music of George Delerue is one of the most powerful films ever made.
A simplistic narration tells how those camps were organized and how they worked so well on their duty. Some images were shoot in 1955, ten years after the camps were closed we see the desolation of those mass murder barracks. The other images are mostly photographies and German films showing the conditions and the "life" of these microsocieties.
In 1955, Night and Fog shocked and touched its public. It was still hot in the memories of those who survived the war and the camps. Today, in 2010, these images are still touching and still means that the ghosts of totalitarism won't ever disappear.
Back when the film was made the holocaust was all about victimization of the jews and the cruelty and barbarism of the camps. 55 years later our vision must change, yes this was horrible and unforgettable. But, our perception of the holocaust should change, we have to try to understand how a nation could endorse mass murders and immorality like taking a race or a religion and trying to get rid of it by its extermination... It's ok to have compassion for the millions of lifes wasted, but I think one of the major problem of humanity is to always wanting to be right about something. There's never an absolute answer to anything and history is there to remind it to us.
As for religion, it's one of the many deep problems of humanity. I won't get onto that subject but without religious conflicts we would be in a world much more peaceful today...
Well, it's obvious that Night and Fog is a film that within only 32 munites makes us think and get onto more broader subjects than only what it brings. A must see.
A Review by Michaël Parent