Night and Fog (France, 1955)

0197Directed by: Alain Resnais. This was a nice short little movie, 35 minutes, as short as it is depressing. I was gravitating towards this because I had always meant to check out more Resnais after seeing Hiroshima Mon Amour in first year Film class, and because I’d like to learn more about WWII and the Holocaust. And as much as this is definitely a striking movie, expertly shot, with a mature vision, and a subtle compassion, it’s definitely not high on the educational content. What it does do very well, though, is give you a very simple, direct, and elegant look (oddly beautiful in its own way), of one of the worst things that ever happened to people. It’s got a lot of primary footage, which never stops being horrifying and effective no matter how desensitized you are. I was maybe not in the best mood to watch this, and I think a lot of the effect of it was lost on me this viewing, but maybe there’s really just not much to say. It’s a great film, it should be mandatory viewing for high school kids, etc. Maybe I’ll come and revisit it later on. In the meantime, I really need to check out some more feature length Resnais.

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