The film Night and Fog is a short chronological documentary film that is directed by Alain Resnais. The film shows the life during the Holocaust and in concentration camps and the kind of life Jews experienced in these concentration camps. The production of the film took place in 1955 using French as its original mode of language. In analysing and reflecting on the film, it is important to note that the film uses various techniques in its attempts to explain events that took place during the tragic holocaust and situations that were prevalent during that time. This reflection considers the various techniques of the film that try to advance the story, the manner in which Jews and Non-Jews are depicted in the film and the central message the film aims to communicate in relation to the attitude towards Fascism.
The films use of black and white images especially in the depiction of the images of the concentration camps works to show the depravity and suffering that Jews endured during the Holocaust. The Using black and white as a technique in the film highlights the stark reality of the abjectness of the situation during that time. It also portrays Jews as victims of a major injustice since these images elicit a feeling of pity if not anger. The message advanced by this technique is the fact that no one deserves to live or go through what Jews were subjected to.
The film also uses juxtaposition of some sort by using images that show both sides of the Holocaust. This means that it shows both the sufferers and perpetrators of the Holocaust and tries to relate these two sides. Juxtaposition as a technique employs the use of both historical images and contemporary ones which advance the contradiction present in the film. The contradiction is also advanced through the use of music in the narration for instance pitting slow and sad music against dramatic sounds and tones. The use of contradictory elements and juxtaposition also goes beyond imagery and music but also incorporates showing the sharp and painful reality of the concentration camps in Poland against the normal if not routine or ordinary life out there. It makes one wonder what kind of people would lead a normal life in a place that housed so much suffering and depravity.
The films narrative attempts to show the general lack of acceptance of fascism during that time by the general populace. It is communicated that in the beginning, the concentration camps were not meant for the Jews but rather anybody who presented trouble to the government. Later, they became a target for people who were deemed as undesirable and these included majorly Jews. In this respect, Jews are shown as the unfortunate victims of a system so bent on having complete and utter control of its people. Also, the concentration camps also became the destination for anyone who was thought to oppose the government or support resistance.
The films through the use of disturbing footages that show the workers in various depraved situations, being treated like a slave and the high fences communicates a central meaning. The meaning is a reminder to people not to forget the Holocaust, the evils of fascism and associated elements that characterized the period. Using contemporary footages against historical ones works as a reminder that what could be standing somewhere today could have been the place of so much pain and suffering.
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