8.0/10
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18 user 25 critic

Night Will Fall (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History, War | 5 December 2014 (USA)
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.

Director:

André Singer

Writer:

Lynette Singer
8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helena Bonham Carter ... Narrator (voice)
Jasper Britton Jasper Britton ... Narrator for German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (voice)
Leonard Berney Leonard Berney ... Self - Royal Artillery (as Maj. Leonard Berney)
George Leonard George Leonard ... Self - Oxfordshire Yeomanry
Josef Kramer ... Self - Commandant, Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp (archive footage)
Anita Lasker-Wallfisch Anita Lasker-Wallfisch ... Self - Bergen-Belsen Survivor
Mike Lewis Mike Lewis ... Self - Army Cameraman, 1981 (archive footage) (as Sgt. Mike Lewis)
Bill Lawrie Bill Lawrie ... Self - British Army Photographer (archive sound) (as William Lawrie)
Richard Dimbleby Richard Dimbleby ... Self (archive sound)
David Dimbleby ... Self - Broadcaster
Raye Farr Raye Farr ... Self - United States Holocaust Museum, 1995-2013
Toby Haggith Toby Haggith ... Self - Imperial War Museums (as Dr. Toby Haggith)
James William Illingworth James William Illingworth ... Self - British Army Gunner (archive footage)
Alexander Voronstov Alexander Voronstov ... Self - Soviet Cameraman, 1986 (archive footage)
Matvey Gershman Matvey Gershman ... Self - Soviet 8th Guards Army
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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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Taglines:

They liberated the camps and documented the unthinkable See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 German Concentration Camps Factual Survey (2014) See more »

User Reviews

Searing
31 January 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The imagery is searing. Yes, the finished documentary is loosely assembled, as others point out. But then it's the graphic horrors that count. At 75, I've seen the hellish horrors in other documentaries. Nonetheless, the tale must be told every generation, and what could be more persuasive than such footage. I'm glad the filming comes from a number of death camps, showing the systematic nature of the extermination, and what, I think, most any of us are capable of given certain conditions.

I am sorry that footage showing the gas chambers was apparently not yet available. That would further demonstrate the murderous Nazi intent. I've heard apologists claim that the mounds of emaciated dead resulted from a wartime lack of food, not the result of intentional starvation. Still, those German civilians parading through the camps do look well fed. Too bad that more isn't detailed about how the documentary got caught up in the politics of the day. As a result the film ended up filed away for decades. That appears an interesting story deserving of more explanation. Also, the interviews with survivors bring a bygone time to life, and are often as wrenching as the past is. For them, the reality of the camps is still a vivid presence.

No, the 75-minutes are not entertaining, as others point out. Nonetheless, the visible record of "human junk piles" presents an opportunity for our deepest reflection.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Russian | Hebrew

Release Date:

5 December 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Will Fall See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color | Black and White (archival footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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