Frontline: Memory of the Camps

If you get a chance to catch this on your local PBS affiliate, do so. If not, download bits when you can:

As the troops entered the German concentration camps, they made a systematic film record of what they saw. Work began in the summer of 1945 on the documentary, but the film was left unfinished. FRONTLINE found it stored in a vault of London’s Imperial War Museum and, in 1985, broadcast it for the first time using the title the Imperial War Museum gave it, “Memory of the Camps.” As the film’s history shows, it was a project that was supervised by the British Ministry of Information and the American Office of War Information. And during that summer of 1945 some of the documentary editing was done under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock.

The complete absence of superfuous sound effects is what is so striking. There’s no attempt to fill out an image-only sequence with possible background sound or timed sfx. Just dead silence as men haul bodies like sacks of potatoes and throw them into a mass grave.







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