Quick-Thoughts: Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog (1956)

Alain Resnais Marathon Part I of III

Flawless. In the twenty years that I’ve had to learn and have learned about the Holocaust, I’ve never been this moved by the subject than in the tight 32 minutes that Alain Resnais unapologetically dumps on us in Night and Fog: a speedy overview of Germany’s 4-year genocide of European Jews, complimented by a harrowingly intricate score, Resnais seams real black-and-white footage of the camp atrocities with the colored, aftermath silence of the criminal locations into an onslaught trial of real-life visual horror. The screenplay is a poetic masterpiece on its own too, with every line from narrator Jean Cayrol coming off as if it were conceived to be either an accurate personification which could allow the viewer to hypothesize the feeling of an on-screen torture OR a disclosure on the real-life darkside of the human condition based on each sanguinary photo or moving image. I don’t think I’ve ever been this inclined to literally throw-up because of a movie than I have here, and that’s the true test to how powerful this piece is. F**k Nazis and bless cinema.

Verdict: A+

The Amateur’s Favorite Documentaries, The French New Wave Ranked

“Night and Fog” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel and Kanopy.

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