Sunday, May 1, 2011

Real Surrealism: 1955 Documentary, Night & Fog,

Cover of documentary Night and Fog
Directed by Alain Resnais, Night and Fog (Nuit et brouillard, 1955) is a 31-minute film that ponders the Holocaust at the sites of abandoned concentration camps.

While an unseen narrator answers what he can and gives words to the questions that have more questions, the film moves between footage of camps during their activity and present-day (1955) footage of the camps.

The film is elegy whose poetic brevity and honesty make it an extremely respectful film, though the footage is, of course, utterly the opposite, utterly surreal. A camera slowly panning out on all that hair, so much hair, just hair taken away. Stored. Spun into cloth. By someone. Someone's hair spun by someone. So many someones.

A trillion eyelashes to wish on.