Nuit et brouillard
Alain Resnais • 30 minutes • France, Germany
Nuit et brouillard (1956)
Alain Resnais, Chris Marker & Ghislain Cloquet
30min., France, Germany
“Death makes his first pick. Another choice is made in the morning in the night and fog.”
Nuit et brouillard is a documentary that alternates between past and present, using both colour and black-and-white footage. The first part of the movie shows remnants of Auschwitz while the narrator describes the rise of Nazi Ideology. Further the film continues with comparisons of the life of the Schutzstaffel to the starving prisoners. The documentary addresses the sadism that was inflicted upon the doomed inmates, like torture, executions, rape and depicts images of gas chambers and piles of bodies.
Nuit et brouillard received very high acclaim in France upon its release in 1956 and was shown in commercial theaters in Paris. The film was awarded the Prix Jean Vigo, an award for young filmmakers. Jacques Doniol-Valcroze wrote in Cahiers du Cinéma that the film was comparable to work of artists Francisco Goya and Franz Kafka. Furthermore, French film critic and director François Truffaut referred to Nuit et brouillard as the greatest film ever made.
Nuit et brouillard is a part of Resnais’ short film program during the Summer Film School.