Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Night and Fog and the State

“Even a peaceful landscape…even a meadow in harvest, with crows circling overhead and grass fires…even a road where cars and peasants and couples pass…even a resort village with a steeple and country fair…can lead to a concentration camp.” So begins the narration of the most devastating documentary film ever made.

Before Hollywood determined it takes at least three hours to effectively grapple with the Holocaust — a Schindler’s List or a Pianist, for example — long before, some four decades and more, there was Alain Renais’ 31-minute Night and Fog.

I first saw and was shattered by this remarkable short movie while in college in 1975. I’ve just seen Night and Fog a second time, because Criterion recently released a new digital restoration of it on DVD. And 28 years later, Renais’ film remains for me not only a chilling record of Hitler’s "final solution" but the most powerful cinematic indictment of the State I’ve ever seen.

[Read entire essay here]

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At 6:40 AM, Blogger PintofStout said...

A haunting essay. I can only imagine what the film holds. Thinking of a purchase...

At 6:26 AM, Blogger Warren Bluhm said...

I put it to the top of my Netflix queue right after I read this! Looking forward to it.

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I watched it on Youtube.

Exceptional. Heart wrenching and terrifying.

I'll make an order for the DVD at too.


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