{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Night and Fog

I watched Alain Resnais' 1955 documentary, Night and Fog, on the horrors of holocaust and never ending tryst of humanity with such horrors. The documentary ends on a brilliantly pessimistic and cautionary note which raises this documentary up above the sheer footage of horror and inhumanity. Narrated and written by Jean Cayrol, who himself survived a Nazi camp, following are the closing lines.

Who among us will keep watch from this strange watch tower to warn the arrival of our new executioners ? Are their faces really different from our own ? Somewhere in our midst lucky Kapos will survive, reinstated officers and anonymous informers. There are those who refused to believe, or believe only for brief moments. With our sincere gaze we survey these ruins, as if the old monster lay crushed forever beneath the rubble. We pretend to take up hope again as the images recedes into the past, as if we were cured once and for all of all the scourge of the camps. We pretend it all happened only once at a given time and place. We turn blind eye to what surround us and a deaf ear to the humanity's never ending cry.