Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Alfred Hitchcock’s Unseen Holocaust Documentary Restored, To Be Screened In Cinemas And On TV

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist January 9, 2014 at 12:21PM

It has long been an enduring facet to Alfred Hitchcock’s character that away from the director’s many films of murder and heart-stopping suspense, he was greatly repulsed by violence in real life. The examples of this irony might call to mind the twisted types of crime seen in Hitchcock’s usual wheelhouse, but as a new documentary partly made by him about the WWII Nazi death camps nears closer to a re-release, we get the sense that the most unlikely example was the most affecting for the director himself.
1
Alfred Hitchcock

It has long been an enduring facet to Alfred Hitchcock’s character that away from the director’s many films of murder and heart-stopping suspense, he was greatly repulsed by violence in real life. The examples of this irony might call to mind the twisted types of crime seen in Hitchcock’s usual wheelhouse, but as a new documentary partly made by him about the WWII Nazi death camps nears closer to a re-release, we get the sense that the most unlikely example was the most affecting for the director himself.

In 1945, Hitchcock was asked by his friend Sidney Bernstein to delve into British and Soviet units’ footage of German wartime atrocities and turn it into a cohesive document of the time, one reportedly made to force the German people to come face-to-face with their actions. But as Hitchcock initially saw the footage at Pinewood Studios and left so disturbed that he didn’t return for a week, and then delays led the Allies to reconsider the political point to the film, five of the finished project’s six reels were quietly tucked away in London’s Imperial War Museum.

However, an American researcher found the reels of film in the ‘80s, and after showings at the Berlin Film Festival and on PBS, now the documentary is set for a re-release, in the way that Hitchcock, Bernstein, and others originally intended. Digitally restored with the sixth reel back in, and featuring “Night Will Fall,” a new companion documentary from producer André Singer (“The Act of Killing”) and “directorial advisor” Stephen Frears, Hitchcock’s as-yet-untitled film will be shown on British television in early 2015 with cinema and festival screenings to occur before then.

You can read the full history of the project (once called “Memory of the Camps”) over at the Independent, but the new release will undoubtedly shine a new tragic light on Hitchcock’s work and approach; even though he took only a small role on the project, its emotional effects were no doubt irreversible from that day onward. As Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Imperial War Museum described, feedback on the film largely strayed toward calling it “terrible and brilliant at the same time," and we’ll soon see how accurate that assessment proves.

This article is related to: Alfred Hitchcock


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates