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Night Will Fall

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Night Will Fall
(Night Will Fall, 2014, United Kingdom)
Night Will Fall is a powerful new documentary about the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps and the efforts made by combat and newsreel cameramen to document the almost unbelievable scenes encountered there. Directed by André Singer (executive producer of The Act of Killing), it uses original archive footage and eyewitness testimonies to tell the extraordinary story of the filming of the camps. It also explores in depth how a team of top filmmakers came together in 1945 to make a documentary which would provide lasting, undeniable evidence of the Nazis’ unspeakable crimes. This project – which made use of footage shot by British, American and Soviet cameramen – was led by the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein who commissioned a wealth of British talent, including editor Stewart McAllister (acclaimed for his work with Humphrey Jennings), writer and future cabinet minister Richard Crossman – and, as treatment adviser, his friend Alfred Hitchcock. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US Governments, the film was shelved, and only now, 70 years on, has it been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums. At a time of highly charged debate about the ethics of filming the victims of atrocity, Night Will Fall provokes challenging questions about the nature and purpose of documentary. Absorbing, eloquent and deeply moving, it increases our knowledge and understanding of one of the most horrific crimes of the 20th century and offers an important reminder to a new generation.