It is well known that in the spring of 1945, Allied troops moved through Europe, liberating those who were suffering under Nazi rule. Less well known is that these troops made an extensive film record of the atrocities which they witnessed. Out of this footage, Sidney Bernstein, a British media baron, hoped to create a documentary film, for which he enlisted the expertise of Alfred Hitchcock, the acclaimed director of Psycho and The Birds.
The film, whilst completed, was not released; the British government banned it, supposing that it might harm relations with post-war Germany. Over the ensuing decades, the film was forgotten, until it was chanced upon in 1985 by an American researcher. The film was aired on PBS, but its quality was very low and the last reel was missing. Now, after three years of painstaking work by Dr. Toby Haggith of the Imperial War Museum (IWM), the film, including the last reel, has been restored.
Director Andre Singer’s documentary, Night Will Fall , which is being given a two-and-a-half-week run at the BFI Southbank, tells the story of Bernstein’s project, incorporating Haggith’s restored footage. Alongside the film’s producer Sally Angel, and Professor David Cesarani, Haggith and Singer will also give a special talk after the first showing of the film on September 17, asking whether film can ever be ‘pure’ document, and whether or not it can be considered ethical to film victims of atrocities.
|What||Night Will Fall, BFI Southbank|
|Where||BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8XT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
17 Sep 14 – 03 Oct 14, 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to buy tickets from the BFI Southbank website|