FROM WHERE THEY STOOD
MUST END THURSDAY, JULY 28
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHE COGNET
As French documentarian Christophe Cognet walks through the soggy grounds of a concentration camp, small white shards poke through the earth: They are bone fragments of the dead that rise to the surface when it rains. Similarly, this film reveals hidden remnants of those horrors. At risk of death, a handful of prisoners clandestinely photographed the workings of the camps and, in one case, buried the footage with the intention of recovering it after the war - which he miraculously did.
The filmmaker and camp historians study these messages from beyond, and, with meticulous rigor, reconstruct the time and place at which they were originally created and the events they record. Like Alain Resnais’ masterpiece NIGHT AND FOG, this film stands as a testimony to the millions of lives lost, as well as to the courage of those who risked everything to send us these artifacts from hell.
With support from the Joan S. Constantiner Fund for Jewish and Holocaust Film and the Richard Brick, Geri Ashur, and Sara Bershtel Fund for Social Justice Documentaries.
2021 109 MIN. FRANCE / GERMANY GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT
“Photography in this context becomes a fierce and courageous act of resistance. (The filmmaker) explores the details - some known, others only guessed at - revealed by their raw transmission of unfathomable experience…celebrate(s) the courageous audacity of prisoner-photographers. (The film) shows that their resistance fights on, in its vivid and direct communication between their time and ours.”
- Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook
“A meticulous and original investigation. In analyzing with meticulous precision the microcosm of each picture, Christophe Cognet pays homage from a correct and respectful distance to these men and women who risked their lives to take back control of their own image and to send this chilling and vital message of history: ‘this happened.’”
- Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa
★★★★ “Searing. A moving document on resistance and evidence.”
– Santanu Das, High on Films