LES FILMS ET LA MÉMOIRE : IMAGES ALLIÉES DES CAMPS NAZIS
Gian Maria Tore (semiologist specialising in film analysis, uni.lu)
Christoph Brüll (historian, uni.lu)
Venue: Cinémathèque de la Ville de Luxembourg
Part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021
At the end of the Second World War, the Nuremberg trials rang in a new era: that of the prosecution of “crimes against humanity", but also that of the use of images as "evidence". The screening of films of camps’ liberation during the hearings at Nuremberg was a revolutionary moment of crucial importance. These films, shot and edited by the Soviets, the British and above all the Americans – with contributions by Hollywood’s finest – are nowadays considered essential viewing. In reality, they are often more heard of than actually seen, most of them had even literally disappeared for decades.
What problems do they raise when unearthed and when watched today? What views, what gestures –cinematographic as well as political – are conveyed by these “authentic” images of the discovery of the camps’ horrors? How do these films contribute to the construction of the memory of the genocide, even today?
The conference will be accompanied by a screening of the film Death Mills (1945) by Hanuš Burger and Billy Wilder. Several excerpts from the other films documenting the liberation of the camps will also be shown during the evening.