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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.

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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

The supposed shrunken heads found at Buchenwald conveniently disappeared and was never tested or verified. 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

 
Unique, if graphic documentary
25 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

Night Will Fall is a potent documentary produced by the British Imperial War Museum covering the consequences of Nazi brutality towards Jews, Slavs and man, women or child considered inferior. As the Allied forces of Great Britain, United States and Canada advanced on the Western and Southern area of Germany, evidence of actual rumored, reported, alleged, speculated and widely believed accounts of state sponsored systematic murdered became distressingly real to the liberating soldiers.

The documentary (originally titled: German Concentration Camps factual Survey) contains recently restored actual footage of Nazi atrocities filmed in 1945 by Army camera crews on instructions by the British Psychological War Division. A plentiful amount of footage was gathered throughout the duration of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau and Auschwitz Concentration Camps. Originally, the footage was intended for a 1945 release to highlight the horrors hidden from public view, ignored by others, advocated by some the shocking truth discovered, which later became termed; The Holocaust.

Likewise the film makers intended not only to reveal the truth; yet, to edit, clarify and comment on what the world can learn from the reality of in-humanity still unimpaired and unforgettable to many. This restored footage is then inter-cut between interviews and melancholy testaments from British, American and Soviet soldiers, or camp survivor who witnessed the act of atrocities or its aftermath. Evoking as these testaments and interviews are, the uneasy commentary by The BBC War Correspondent Richard Dimbley who witnessed the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen is made even-more dismaying by the revelation that British Intelligence, skeptical of his statement, refrained the BBC from transmitting his broadcast to the public for a week after the April 1945 liberation in order to factually confirm the unbelievable horrors uncovered. Dismaying are also the incitable testaments from a Soviet perceptive of what was similarly, yet more eerie witnessed during the Red Armies liberation of the camps in Poland. Decorously, the documentary-makers have rightfully included a few captivating scenes of the Soviet liberation of Auschwitz. Granted, the images captured by Soviet film-crews are truly worthy of admiration. Unfortunately, because these scenes, combined with the commentary of Soviet War Correspondents, are so captivating, more should have been contained. Engaging, is also the explanation of film-makers and Producers Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein and their involvement in the documentary.

Night Will Fall is a well presented, somber in commentary, extremely graphic in detail and at times may-be distressing to the viewer. Not only is the visual evidence of The Holocaust painfully revealing; yet, what is also represented is the advanced practices of reporting and commentary of War Correspondences combined with use of newly formed Army Camera Crews. Both methods intended for public exhibition; the original footage captured and the correspondence were innovating in 1945 for allowing the general public, authorised by the Government, with relatively minimal censoring, to bear witness in full overwhelming scenes of war crimes. Therefore, Night Will fall is clear in its focus, effective in its message and one of the best produced documentaries on The Holocaust.


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