• Gareth Crook

Night and Fog (1956) - 8/10

Updated: Apr 25

This is possibly one of the most vivid pieces of cinema I’ve seen on The Holocaust. Shot just 10 years after the liberation of the concentration, it mixes black and white with colour footage to disarming effect. With newsreel footage it tells the story of what happened to the Jews at the hands of the Nazis during WW2. I know a lot of these atrocities, but it’s frightening watching it brought to life. I think it’s the colour that’s throwing me and that it’s shot within the decade. It feels close both to that time and to present day. Cut alongside the black and white photos and footage, it paints the grimmest picture. As it should. Harrowing as it is, I’m thankfully these films exist. To inform and educate future generations. The books, the documentation, it’s all brought to life by film. Especially now that the generation who survived this are reaching the end of their lives, these archive materials become even more important. In 30 minutes, this can only ever be a summary, but it’s still remarkably accurate and effective. The liquidation, the trains, the camps. The gas chambers. The ovens. The ghosts left behind. “There are those who refused to believe, or only now and then. We survey these ruins with a heartfelt gaze, certain the old monster lies crushed beneath the rubble. We pretend to regain hope as the image recedes, as though we’ve been cured of that plague. We tell ourselves it was all confined to one country, one point in time. We turn a blind eye to what surrounds us and a deaf ear to the never-ending cries...”

8/10