Sight and Sound - 04/01/2005
"Resnais' exposure of Nazi atrocities is still chilling, and his emphasis on the need to remember gives the film a continuing relevance."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2011
"Resnais's approach is so stark that its power hasn't abated."
This lyrical and graphic documentary--one of the first cinematic reflections on the Holocaust's horror--has deeply affected film's treatment of the Holocaust ever since, including Spielberg's SCHINDLER'S LIST. Documentarian Alain Resnais contrasts 1955 footage of abandoned concentration camps' quiet, empty buildings with black-and-white footage shot there in 1944; the film's overwhelming resonance comes in its allowing the haunting images to stand on their own: a grainy, back-lit hill of human hair, a pyramid of shoes.
One of the most memorable and haunting documentaries of the Holocaust. 10 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps, director Alain Resnais visits the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. As the camera roams through and peers into the now-empty buildings, Resnais contrasts the seeming peacefulness of the landscape with archival images from the violent past.
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