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+ Toute la Mémoire du Monde

Tuesday, August 16
2:10   6:20

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With Toute la Mémoire du Monde (1956), a poetic study of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. New DCP restoration. Approx 21.min.

France, 1956
35mm. Approx. 32 min.

“In a half hour that changed modern consciousness, Alain Resnais’s 1955 documentary recalls a time when the Holocaust was both recent and unexamined. He edits black-and-white newsreel footage to recount the story of the century’s distinctive form of rationalized barbarism, from the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich’s program of deportations and exterminations to the Nuremberg trials, and intercuts it with his own contemporary color footage of the ruins of Auschwitz. His method combines historical inquiry with the quest for memory—and the question of why such things should be remembered. The title suggests an answer: it refers to the planned disappearance, personally decreed by Hitler, of Resistance fighters in countries occupied by Germany into the black hole of concentration camps. Though Resnais shows unsparingly horrific images of victims who survived and of others who died, he downplays the motive of race hatred (the commentary includes only one passing reference to Jews) and offers instead an ecumenical and political view of the camps as industrialization gone mad. Whether right or wrong, his meditation launched a yet unabated flood of cinematic inquiry, remembrance, and self-questioning.”— Richard Brody, The New Yorker

With Support from The Joan S. Constantiner Fund for Jewish and Holocaust Films, donated by Leon Constantiner and Family.


“The effective war film is often the one in which the action begins after the war, when there is nothing but ruins and desolation everywhere… Alain Resnais’ Nuit et Brouillard,
the greatest film ever made.”

– François Truffaut

Film Forum