|Alfred Hitchcock Documentary Shelved for 70 Years Is Revived
For seventy years a single topic has been consistently reviewed, remembered and reviled. There will always be deniers. There will always be haters. There will always be anti-Semitism.
So, one must ask,after seventy years have we learned anything at all? Are we doomed to repeat our mistakes over and over again?
Survivors of the Holocaust are slowly dying out. There are a mere handful of those who made it out of the camps to testify, while the deniers are gaining strength. Do a search on any film from the days of the Holocaust and you will find many more declaring them to be lies.
In Israel we have a concentration of survivors, who, for the most part live their lives outside the public eye. Some do speak out when approached, and some to this day refuse to come to terms with the disaster. In some families there is a combination, one who has learned to deal with it, and one who lives every single day in horror.
The Holocaust was very real. The meticulous records created by the Germans themselves have proven this beyond a doubt. The fact that the Jewish people survived, is a constant thorn in the side for the world in general. Perhaps, because as a collective they did nothing. It was left to tiny groups of people with a conscience and a sense of basic human decency to do what they could in the most difficult of situations. There are no end of stories about those who risked everything, just as there are endless tales of betrayal, thievery and cold blooded murder.
When the liberation came, many tried to return to their home countries, only to find that their homes had been “taken over” by their neighbours and they were not wanted. After years of abuse at the hands of the Germans, the Jewish people were once again placed in camps, or left to drift, with nothing but the few rags on their backs, until they could find a place, a new home to start over.
A new HBO documentary, Night Will Fall (26 January 2015)
, directed by André Singer and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter and Jasper Britton, tells the story of how, seventy years later, a lost documentary filmed by Alfred Hitchcock
and shelved in the British archives, came back to life. As to why it was shelved in the first place, the LA Times
offers a clue:
The British needed the German people to “pick up the pieces and help energize the destroyed Germany economy. They didn’t want to demoralize the people further by rubbing in their guilt, and the ‘German Concentration Camps Factual Survey’ would not have helped restore confidence,” Singer said.
There was also a concern, Singer added, that “it would provoke most sympathy for the Jewish refugees still in the camps after the war [who] wanted to go to Palestine. The British were having problems with nascent Zionism and felt the film would be unhelpful.”
Below is the trailer for “Night Will Fall”. Following the trailer is the original documentary footage filmed by Alfred Hitchcock~it was his only documentary film. You may find it difficult to watch, but perhaps, the original footage is what the world really needs to see.
As for the question “After Seventy Years Have We Learned Anything?”, one would sincerely hope so, but looking at what is happening in the world today, the inclination is to say, sadly, No.
Trailer for “Night Will Fall”
This is The Original Footage Filmed and Then Shelved for Seventy Years