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Comments 1 - 15 of 27

Timec's avatar

Timec

It's probably considered a documentary masterpiece because of the fact that it manages to do in 30 minutes what few films (documentary or fiction) are able to do in four or five (or seven) times that length - there's a lot to be said for brevity, and this film manages to pack an enormous amount of power into its time length and never seems like it's misrepresenting or lessening the true horrors of the Holocaust.

It may also have to do with the fact that it's so very concise - it doesn't try to tackle the entirety of the Nazi machine, and it's better off for it. One still comes away with an incredibly clear view of how horrible human beings can be.

There have been a lot of Holocaust films made since, but few have had its power or immediacy. In 55 years of Holocaust filmmaking since, only "Shoah" has surpassed it.

Unlike so many other films on this important subject, it doesn't cop out. It doesn't interject personal stories or John Williams-esque scores - it simply relies on the inherent horror and tragedy of the subject to make us see and to make us feel. It's not "just not another Holocaust film" - I use that phrase not to suggest that the Holocaust itself could ever be a tired subject, but merely to point out that a lot of filmmakers seem to choose the subject as a shortcut to accomplish their goal of making an Important Film. They bombard us with overly sentimental, overly manipulative stories that are weirdly comforting to the audience – even as they present us with absolute horror they provide a nice emotional catharsis, cause us to think “Oh, it could never happen again” and then the audience feels better after the movie than they did before it started. That’s why so many people can now see a preview for the next Holocaust film and roll their eyes at yet another Oscar-bait film about a Very Important Subject – we’ve become inured to what should always be a raw and visceral reminder of man’s inhumanity.

But “Night and Fog” is different. It distinguishes itself by refusing to give us any comfort, by refusing to rely on cheap emotionalism. Its relentless narrative and carefully selected footage builds to a work of enormous, overwhelming resonance and power. It doesn’t offer comfort, it doesn’t allow us to distance ourselves from what we are seeing – it masterfully combines all the elements of the documentary form to blur the line between past and present, and to move and horrify even the most inured viewers.

So yeah - that's what makes it a documentary masterpiece. That's what makes it one of the two most visceral, groundbreaking, horrifying accounts of one of mankind's greatest atrocities.
9 years 10 months ago
pfluke's avatar

pfluke

Even scarier than this amazing documentary is the fact that some people claim that all of this never happened.
10 years 8 months ago
jhhayes's avatar

jhhayes

A very disturbing view of the most evil and darkest side of humanity. Although horrific, everyone should see this film.
10 years 2 months ago
Typically Thomas's avatar

Typically Thomas

The most powerful film about the Holocaust I've ever seen. How can a human, of any kind, believe that this horrid kind of slaughter is justified. No man believes himself to be evil, and we all rationalize our darkest deeds. How can anyone do so while holding several removed heads at once? I am shocked by this movie. Really important film!
4 years 3 months ago
CarcamanoFerreto's avatar

CarcamanoFerreto

A brief documentary, a collection of chilling images that will make you wonder: "how could they had done such thing?"
It is one of those films that everyone should watch and question what are the limits of human perversity.
Powerful, disturbing and historically important. Nuit et brouillard is a necessary film.
6 years ago
ClassicLady's avatar

ClassicLady

Seeing the faces of people I'd only known before as "the masses" was shocking and eye opening. It is horrible how no one is or can be blamed for this atrocity. Although blame won't make it better or bring those people back. It is a horrible, dark period in human history that will live with us forever. This movie reminds us we should never underestimate the evil lurking in man.
7 years 3 months ago
TalkingElvish's avatar

TalkingElvish

Half an hour that stays with you forever.
10 years 8 months ago
vibranium's avatar

vibranium

https://vimeo.com/189672641

(linked Feb 2018, English subtitles)
3 years 7 months ago
swhaze's avatar

swhaze

I really appreciate this film's intention and purpose. It is something that everyone should probably see at least once. I honestly don't think I have ever been exposed to a short film that is so raw, yet tastefully and stunningly done. With that said, some of those images will probably haunt me for the remainder of my life.
4 years 8 months ago
Egil's avatar

Egil

Very powerful indeed. I felt both sick and sad through this horrifying, yet important movie.
10 years 1 month ago
Ezio's avatar

Ezio

Highly inappropriate music. But anyway a touching and shocking movie with rare footage that leaves you breathless.
10 years 3 months ago
Windill's avatar

Windill

Disturbing.
5 years 6 months ago
Warrison's avatar

Warrison

Powerful.
10 years 5 months ago
Eddyspeeder's avatar

Eddyspeeder

The power of this documentary is that it is very complete in its telling about the Nazi destructional machine. I have visited Auschwitz and spent one day at Anlagen (concentration camp, now a museum) and another at Birkenau (destruction camp, left untouched) with a guided tour. This half-our piece covers nearly everything I've learnt in those two days; the only thing this documentary did not cover extensively is that the ashes from the crematoria "snowed down" on both the camp and its surroundings, as you can see in Schindler's List.

I think the documentary makers consciously chose not to include the survivors' stories to leave out any personal interpretation, just as they do not answer the question who is responsible. They just wanted you to know the sickening, gruesome, and harsh truths. Perhaps it may help you prepare for visiting a concentration camp, because seeing it for yourself will add a personal dimension to it.
10 years 5 months ago
Emiam's avatar

Emiam

8/10

Wow! Great film. Short and effective. I wonder from where they have managed to collect b/w shocking film material from 11 years earlier, which I have never - ever - before seen, in any other documentary?

Really good, but probably not better than the most important movie in history about the holocaust - the 8 hours long Shoah:
https://www.svt.se/dox/shoah/
3 years 11 months ago

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