IN THE MOMENT – Not a review, but my immediate thoughts after watching a film.
Upon reflection, I feel like I have to raise awareness of a documentary that we watched today. I, myself, am not a huge documentary fan, for I rarely watch them, especially if they are films. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that they are good, or interesting, I personally just don’t watch them that often. However, I do understand the power that they can have on the audience, and especially after today, I am more so aware of this.
Today, we watched a half hour french documentary called Night and Fog, which is a documentary made up of stock footage and photographs of the tragedy that is the holocaust, narrated by Jean Sayrol – a survivor of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. It documents the process from the designing of the shelters to questioning ‘who is responsible?’ for this travesty. And that’s exactly the question that needs to be raised. Was it the guards who worked at the camps? Was it just Hitler? Was it the Jewish, just for being of that race and religion? It makes me feel sick. It hasn’t even been 100 years since the Second World War and in no way should the holocaust be an issue simply swept under the carpet. So, though it was gruelling, I am thankful for this film, because people do need to spare a moment to remember the hundreds upon hundreds upon thousands of lives that were unnecessarily lost due to the treatment in the concentration camps. It leaves you with the scary concept that this could happen again. No-one at the time knew that this was going to happen. And as Saylon says in the narration, there could be guards hidden amongst us as we walk around today.
Now, I am going to link you to the three parts that I found on Youtube (French but with English subtitles) and I, of course, am not going to force anybody to watch it. Some parts are pretty graphic in terms of exposing dead bodies, and even if you think you know a fair amount of what happened in the concentration camps, this film will still surprise you with some of the horrors that went on behind the barbed wire and the lengths that these, quite frankly, psychopaths’ prejudice allowed them to go. So, I guess this is a warning; viewer discretion is advised. But I do recommend it, because it is ‘interesting’, in a morbid way, but at the same time, terrifically sad. Night and Fog is an example of a documentary that aims to truly move its audience, provokes challenging thoughts, and disturbs in an aim to teach.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8qTFuMcDLs – Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9frXX1qOqSY – Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oA4OBuaWYY – Part 3
The quality isn’t the best, but it’s good enough to read the subtitles, and to understand what’s being shown to you.