Makes it more overwhelming and sobering to think that it was filmed only 10 years after the liberation. Heartbreaking that this was an actual thing in the past. Human beings did this to other human beings.
This is a cinema of confrontation. Our minds would rather pretend. Feign incomprehension, maybe. "Pretend to believe it happened but once, in one country". We make our own night and fog. In 1955, this was a controversial film. Activists fought to have it shown. It was censored. Not that the facts were unknown. Just easier to reconcile. This film is irreconcilable. A masterwork. Harrowing; ever-relevant; profound.
Like all of Resnais' films, Night and Fog isn't just about the concentration camps, it's about the inherent deception in portraying these events on film. The one downfall of a photograph is its inability to recall the context of the event it portrays. "An incinerator can be made to look like a picture postcard." A camera was invented to capture objective truth but Cinema, like other art-forms, is a manipulated vision
Resnais knows there's no way to portray the holocaust to appear as terrifying as it really was; what he does, though, is give one of the most honest looks at history and decision through an age (that reverberates over time) in hopes that people will not forget. Too, though, does he give us one of the most chilling looks at the concentration camps ever put on film (or anywhere else, for that matter).