BUCHENWALD 62: A bit of the story emerges

Night Will Fall


Alfred Hitchcock types a script on a portable typewriter his apartment in the Wilshire Palms. Hitchcock wanted his film on the Holocaust to be as believable and irrefutable as possible—to ensure that the massacre of 11 million people would never be forgotten. Peter Stackpole/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty/HBO



While seven years after my Dad’s death I am still fighting with my family over release the photos and commentary from my father as the first medic into Buchenwald, 70 years after the war ended, NIGHT WILL FALL is finally being shown.

(Go to HBO GO, or ON DEMAND.  Or tonight on  International Holocaust Remembrance Day, NIGHT WILL FALL will appear on Tuesday, Jan. 27 on HBO2 with networks around the globe.)

The movie by Hitchcock has previously not been shown .  The original reels and notes had been stored since 1952 in the archives at the Imperial War Museums (IWM) in London, However, the final reel was missing.   Four years ago, the IWM began an ambitious project to digitize, restore and complete “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” including the never-before-seen sixth reel.
When British, Soviet and American forces liberated Nazi concentration camps in 1945, army and newsreel cameramen recorded the terrible discoveries they made. Later, Sidney Bernstein of the British government’s Ministry of Information and his team, including supervising director Alfred Hitchcock, drew on this footage, shot at Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Auschwitz, to create a harrowing film titled “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey.”

Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, directed by André Singer (executive producer of “The Act of Killing”) and produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner (the “Rush Hour” series, “X Men: The Last Stand,” “Hercules”), the film juxtaposes horrific raw footage and scenes from the 1945 documentary with insights from the survivors, the soldiers who liberated them and the filmmakers who recorded these appalling images.

NIGHT WILL FALL tells the incredible story behind the film, featuring interviews with concentration-camp survivors, several of whom identify younger versions of themselves in the footage, as well as archival interviews with Bernstein (who later founded Granada Television), Hitchcock and director Billy Wilder.
NIGHT WILL FALL is directed by Andre Singer; produced by Sally Angel and Brett Ratner for a RatPac Documentary Films Presentation; narrator, Helena Bonham Carter; narrator for “German Concentration Camps Factual Survey,” Jasper Britton; executive producers, Richard Melman, James Packer and Stephen Frears; written by Lynette Singer; director of photography, Richard Blanshard; editors, Arik Lahav-Leibovich and Stephen Miller; composer, Nicholas Singer.

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