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Night And Fog Analysis

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Night and Fog is a short French documentary released in 1956, directed by Alain Resnais. Night and Fog feature two-abandoned concentration camp grounds, Auschwitz, and Majdanek. The film is renowned as an artistic piece that captivates the complexity of trauma that “transformed the post-war documentary” to “dismantle the realist mode that offered a transparent, conclusive, and morally reassuring account of historical trauma” (Kennelly). Resnais technique to transition/changeover from black and white to colour footage parallels the past and present to reinforce the lasting effects trauma imposes on one’s mind, body and soul, both individually and within a community. The film follows a linear path/order, beginning with a pan-shot in colour of…show more content…
Traumatic memory is inflexible, and invariable, often uncovering traumatic memories is a timely process; intensely emotional and arousing experiences cannot be adapt within the memory system, which can result in dissociation and the construction of traumatic memories (Explorations, 164). Thus, Night and Fog is arguably not a long enough film to witness the Holocaust, in contrast to Shoah and nine and a half hour film, by Claude Lanzmann, who argues his film captivates to obscenity to understanding such trauma. Also, the changeover from black and white to colour alludes to the recovery of memories, in essence, the grim fragmented images suggest flashes of memory, such that a survivor may endure flashbacks of their past. Arguably, Cayrol is used as a mode to captivate the experience of a survivor, and the road to recovery rather than striving to present a perfect representation of the Holocaust, by providing an imperfect narrative, the viewer gains clarity to the complexity of trauma. There are inherent differences between narrative and traumatic memory; for example, narrative memory challenges the mental constructs, which enable humans to make sense of their experiences. Thus, depending on one’s psychological state, that being immersed in familiar and expectable in contrast/juxtaposition to frightening and novel experiences often do not fit easily into existing cognitive schemes (Exploration, 160). The films’ unsettling images corresponding with Cayrol’s apathetic voiceover and the powerful imagery, such as “the medicines were make-believe, the dressings mere paper, the same ointment is used on every sore. “Sometimes the starving ate their dressings”
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