8.0/10
2,604
15 user 23 critic

Night Will Fall (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | 5 December 2014 (USA)
Night Will Fall is a movie starring Helena Bonham Carter, Jasper Britton, and Leonard Berney. Researchers discover film footage from World War II that turns out to be a lost documentary shot by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein in 1945 about German concentration camps.

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(as André Singer)

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7 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Narrator (voice)
Jasper Britton ... Narrator for German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (voice)
Leonard Berney ... Himself - Bergen-Belsen Liberator
George Leonard ... Himself - Oxford Yeomanry
Josef Kramer ... Himself, commandant, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (archive footage)
Anita Lasker-Wallfisch ... Herself, Bergen-Belsen survivor
Mike Lewis ... Himself - Sergeant Ret. (archive footage)
William Lawrie ... Himself, British army photographer (voice) (archive footage)
Richard Dimbleby ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
David Dimbleby ... Himself, radio journalist
Raye Farr ... Herself, archive director, Holocaust Museum Washington
Toby Haggith ... Himself, historian, Imperial War Museums
James William Illingworth ... Himself, British army gunner (archive footage)
Alexander Voronstov ... Himself, Soviet cameraman (archive footage)
Matvey Gershman ... Himself, Soviet army veteran
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Storyline

April 1945. In Germany, as World War II was drawing to a close and the Allied Forces were swarming into Berlin, groups of freshly-trained combat cameramen documented the gruesome scenes behind the recently-liberated Nazi concentration camps. Named "German Concentration Camps Factual Survey", the 1945 documentary for the British government was produced by Sidney Bernstein, with Alfred Hitchcock's participation. For nearly seven decades, the film was shelved in the British archives and was abandoned without a public screening--for either political reasons or shifted Government priorities--to be ultimately completed by a team of historians and film scholars of the British Imperial War Museum, who meticulously restored the original footage. Intertwined with interviews of both survivors and liberators, as well as short newsreel films and raw footage from the original film, the 2014 documentary chronicles the atrocities that occurred in the concentration and labour camps of Bergen-Belsen, ... Written by Nick Riganas

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When allied troops liberated the concentration camps, their cameras ensured we would never forget See more »


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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

5 December 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Noite Cairá  »

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| (archival footage)

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Keers' documentary research debut. See more »

Quotes

Narrator for German Concentration Camps Factual Survey: Unless the world learns the lesson these pictures teach, night will fall... but by God's grace, we who live will learn.
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Connections

Features Memory of the Camps (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some of the most painful footage I've ever seen.
9 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

The footage shown in this documentary is really excruciating... And it goes on and on and on. The film never really shies away from showing you the horrors of hundreds and hundreds of dead bodies in concentration camps being dragged across and piled up one of top of the others as if they were just mannequins. It's a nightmare-inducing vision that I don't think I will ever be able to erase from my memory. Mountain of personal objects, spectacles even human hair carefully sorted according to type and colours.

And yet after a while I felt it was all beginning to be a little too much and I thought the film was probably going around in a circle and did not really have a lot more to say other than just showing detail over detail of the horror. Not that there is anything to say about the carnage that took place in those places, but somehow I felt this was probably a 40/50 minutes or so film stretched to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Yes the footage found is an incredible discovery and a terrifying testimony of a past that shouldn't be forgotten, but other than that, the film has very very little else to say. I also felt some of the use of the interviewees was a bit heavy-handed: cut to people staring into the void, or the use of pointless bit of dialogue just for the sake of seeing this people breaking down into tears half way through the phrase... There wasn't really any need for that. The original footage was heartbreaking enough without having to resort to people crying to make us the audience feel sad about it... or to dark ominous music. But that's just a question of taste. It's hard to review a documentary like this. Give it a small rating and you can be accused of being insensitive. But that's when you should really make a distinction between the subject matter and the material being shown and the actual craft of the documentary. The later is rather plodding, uneven, and as I said before a bit heavy-handed, but since the subject matter is so powerful, on balance 7 out 10 is perfectly justifiable.


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