When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps in 1944-45, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army and newsreel cameramen, revealing for the first time the full horror of what had happened.
Making use of British, Soviet and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein (later founder of Granada Television) aimed to create a documentary that would provide lasting, undeniable evidence of the Nazis’ unspeakable crimes. He commissioned a wealth of British talent, including editor Stewart McAllister, writer and future cabinet minister Richard Crossman – and, as treatment advisor, his friend Alfred Hitchcock.
Yet, despite initial support from the British and US Governments, the film was shelved, and only now, 70 years on, has it been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums. This eloquent, lucid documentary by André Singer (executive producer of the award-winning The Act of Killing) tells the extraordinary story of the filming of the camps and the fate of Bernstein’s project, using original archive footage and eyewitness testimonies.
Acclaimed by the 2014 Sheffield Doc/Fest jury, this deeply moving film ‘reveals the power of documentary and why it matters.’
Certificate: 15 Distributor: BFI Distribution
Dir. Andre Singer, UK-Germany-France-Israel-USA-Denmark, 2014, 75 mins
Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Bernstein, Helena Bonham Carter