Night and Fog is a powerful, personal statement about the banality of evil in our time. Brutally graphic, Resnais' artistic depiction of life and death in a Nazi extermination camp combines ghostly scenes of the abandoned camp in the 1950s with Nazi and Allied stock footage and stills.
The juxtaposition between past and present is seen in the stark contrast between the more contemporary color sequences and the black and white historical footage. The film concludes with a subtle accusation against all who view the remaining evidence today and assume the story to be a closed book.
A commission to mark the tenth anniversary of the liberation of the German concentration camps by the Allied forces, Resnais’ famous landmark documentary remains the most powerful condemnation of the Nazi camps to emerge from the postwar era. Combining color tracking shots of postwar Auschwitz with black and white archival photographs and footage of prisoners in the death camps, Resnais draws inexorable links between the past and the present while the film’s chillingly understated narrative – written by concentration camp survivor Jean Cayrol –asks searching questions about accountability and the suppression of truth. -Harvard Film Archive
Night and Fog
Nuit et brouillard
France, 1955, 31 minutes, color/B&W
French with English subtitles
Directed by Alain Resnais
Public Exhibition 16mm Rental available