Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog, FR, 1956)
Documentary film with live music and eyewitness conversation
DIRECTOR Alain Resnais
MUSIC Hanns Eisler (original composition)
TEXT Jean Cayrol, Paul Celan in the German adaptation
ORCHESTRA Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich
CONDUCTOR Daniel Grossmann
NARRATOR Valentin Mirow
Eyewitness conversation with Eva Umlauf
Recommended age: 14 years (9thgrade) and above
Length: about 70 minutes (no intermission)
As a monument against forgetting, Alain Resnais made Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) in 1955/56 as not just the first documentation, but until today the strongest, of what happened in concentration camps. In addition to its importance as a timeless testimony of the inhuman camp cosmos, the film is an outstanding work of art: memorable images are combined with the music of the Jewish composer Hanns Eisler and texts that are much more than pure commentary, written by two Holocaust survivors – in the original the French writer Jean Cayrol, in the German adaptation the poet Paul Celan.
The 32-minute documentary film Nacht und Nebel is shown in the second part of the evening– with music played live by the Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich and the text read live by an actor.
Before that, Daniel Grossmann holds a conversation with the eyewitness Dr. Eva Umlauf. She survived Auschwitz as a two-year old, one of the youngest, and later could not remember this time. Nevertheless, the experience marked her entire life. Living in Munich and active as a psychotherapist, Eva Umlauf has specialised in the burden of those born later and how traumata are passed from generation to generation.
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