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How recent films ask us to think about the relation of the image to memory - Essay Example

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French Film 7 May 2012 How recent films ask us to think about the relation of the image to memory 1. Night and Fog “Nuit et brouillard” also known as Night and Fog is a heart-rending masterful French Documentary portraying prison camps during the Nazi Regime…
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Download file to see previous pages Director, Alian Resnais adopted a stylistic approach to impart a history lesson of critical significance by portraying concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Perhaps, this documentary is most difficult to watch due to the appalling and gruesome footage (Barsam). The movie is unlike the usual films based on Holocaust, which accentuated the sheer size of one the greatest inhumanity or personalized the story by depicting affected individuals. It concedes how futile it is to assess the scale of the tragedy and does not count on sentiments. Rather, it presents complex queries about memory and responsibility in relation to denial, and eventually how current and prospective recurrences are linked with denial. The prime focus is analysis instead of statistics and facts. HISTORY An exhibition in 1954 by the Institut Pedagogigue National inspired the conception of Night and Fog. It was unanimously decided by the chief of the Comite and Antaole Dauman to document a film for the preservation of chronicles of Holocaust. Renais was approached to direct the project. However, he initially declined as he feared that the realism and genuineness of the film might not be up to the mark. On Dauman’s insistence, Renais agreed on the condition that Jean Cayrol who had spent time at the concentration camps should serve as the scriptwriter. ...
Micel Bouquet narrated the lucid and seductively calm script in such a detached and unflustered way, that viewers were able to assimilate the tragic circumstances. Renais and Cayrol recognized that excessive shock ensues in amnesia and denial; and therefore aimed at creating a collective memory. The images stood out due to their disturbing nature. It is quite impressive how Renais covers the background and creation of concentration camps, deliberate genocide, freedom of survivors and deserted camps within a span of only thirty-one minutes. The documentary depicts how leading German companies bid for the contracts, presented design and profited enormously from the construction of internment camps. In addition, it highlights how gas chambers and crematoriums served to exterminate prisoners. The ingenuity behind making practical use of the dead bodies for: parchment, soap, wigs, fertilizers etc. Similarly, proof of investigational operations, castration, and phosphorus burns are shown. Possessions of the prisoner are piled in warehouses. Then, an appalling scene hits the screen as heaps of heads and decomposed bodies are dumped in a pit by bulldozers. Withered and shrunken survivors are filled with consternation as allied forces arrive. The pieces of German, British, and French footage were juxtaposed with the novel footage of 1955 (Van der Knaap). The bland colours and lengthy, smooth tracking shots stand out against the black and white images of the war period. Now the land is covered with grass, fences are free from current and crematorium have reduced to rubble, this portrays the fading of memories as time passes by into history. This brilliantly presented contrast overpowers the viewers. SUBJECT MATTER The purpose of the documentary was not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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