One of the most vivid depictions of the horrors of Nazi Concentration Camps. Filmed in 1955 at several concentration camps in Poland, the film combines new color and black and white footage with black and white newsreels, footage shot by the victorious allies, and stills, to tell the story not only of the camps, but to portray the horror of man's brutal inhumanity.
Bill Randolph <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Did You Know?
The then Federal German government intervened successfully to prevent the film being shown at the Cannes Film Festival on the grounds that the festival's regulations prevented any film being shown that would cause offense to any participating nation. Ironically, the director of the Berlin Film Festival lobbied hard for the film to be shown at his festival. See more
A few shots of the concentration camps are combinations of different concentration camps and sometimes do not show the locations suggested. See more
With our sincere gaze we survey these ruins, as if the old monster lay crushed forever beneath the rubble. We pretend to take up hope again as the image recedes into the past, as if we were cured once and for all of the scourge of the camps. We pretend it happened all at once, at a given time and place. We turn a blind eye to what surrounds us and a deaf ear to humanity's never-ending cry.
Before its original release, there was a still of a French gendarme (policeman) watching a roundup at Pithiviers. He is easily recognizable by the characteristic French "kepi." Wanting to deny complicity, French censors insisted this shot not be allowed, so for its original release, the image was altered so that a wooden beam covered the gendarme and his kepi. In 1997 or 98, the original version of the film was re-released in France, finally revealing the gendarme. The original American release of the film did not translate all the dialogue for the subtitles, in particular leaving out one of the two references to Jews: "Annette, from Bordeaux." Subsequent releases restored the original text: "Annette, a Jew from Bordeaux." See more
Referenced in Nihon no yoru to kiri