Geoffrey Macnab “Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened “ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/alfred-hitchcocks-unseen-holocaust-documentary-to-be-screened-9044945.html *1
1945年にアルフレッド・ヒッチコック*2は、英国政府の委託で､英国軍と蘇聯軍が独逸のベルゲン＝ベルゼン強制収容所*3で撮影したフィルムを編集し、ドキュメンタリー映画を作った。しかし、「政治的」な理由で一度も上映されることなく、タイトルさえつけられることなく、全６巻のフィルムのうち５巻は「帝国戦争博物館」*4の倉庫に眠ったまま忘れ去られてしまった。ただし、1984年にMemory of the Campsという仮題で、伯林映画祭で上映され、翌198年には米国のPBSで放映された。しかし、フィルムの劣化のため画質は悪く、全体の６分の１は失われたままだった。この度、「帝国戦争博物館」はディジタル技術でフィルムを修復し、失われた６分の１の部分についても追加の素材を繋ぎ合わせて、ヒッチコックが「意図していた」のに近いかたちで映画を〈完成〉させることに成功した。これは英国の対独勝利70周年記念としてTVで放映され、さらに今年後半に劇場公開される。
In 1945, Hitchcock had been enlisted by his friend and patron Sidney Bernstein to help with a documentary on German wartime atrocities, based on the footage of the camps shot by British and Soviet film units. In the event, that documentary was never seen.
"It was suppressed because of the changing political situation, particularly for the British," suggests Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Department of Research, Imperial War Museum. "Once they discovered the camps, the Americans and British were keen to release a film very quickly that would show the camps and get the German people to accept their responsibility for the atrocities that were there."
The film took far longer to make than had originally been envisaged. By late 1945, the need for it began to wane. The Allied military government decided that rubbing the Germans' noses in their own guilt wouldn't help with postwar reconstruction.
Five of the film's six reels were eventually deposited in the Imperial War Museum and the project was quietly forgotten.
In the 1980s, the footage was discovered in a rusty can in the museum by an American researcher. It was eventually shown in an incomplete version at the Berlin Film Festival in 1984 and then broadcast on American PBS in 1985 under the title Memory of the Camps but in poor quality and without the missing sixth reel. The original narration, thought to have been written by future Labour Cabinet Minister Richard Crossman in collaboration with Australian journalist Colin Wills, was read by actor Trevor Howard.
The decision to revive the film is bound to provoke anguished debate. It includes truly shocking footage of the camps (Belsen-Bergen in particular.) The film's own commentary, which has been re-recorded with a new actor, has a phrase about "sightseers" at a "chamber of horrors".
In Memory of the Camps, there is imagery of heaps of naked bodies being piled up in mass graves. The footage seems as surreal as anything you might see in a Hieronymus Bosch painting but then you remember that these corpses haven't been conjured up by some artist's twisted imagination. These are real victims whose relatives are alive today.
In the documentary, we see the Germans themselves confronted with the enormity of the crimes committed in their name and forced to help bury the dead themselves.
As Toby Haggith acknowledges, the film is "much more candid" than any of the other documentaries about the camps. Haggith also describes it as "brilliant" and "sophisticated". The editors Stewart McAllister (famous for his work with Humphrey Jennings) and Peter Tanner, working under advice from Hitchcock, fashioned an immensely powerful and moving film from the hours and hours of grim material at their disposal. The documentary isn't all about death. We also see imagery of reconstruction and reconciliation. There is footage of camp inmates having their first showers and cleaning their clothes. The film-makers show the painstaking way that typhus was eradicated from the camps.
Haggith speak of the "brilliance" of the original cameramen at the camps, who were working without direction but still had an uncanny knack for homing in on the most poignant and telling images.
"It's both an alienating film in terms of its subject matter but also one that has a deep humanity and empathy about it," Haggith suggests. "Rather than coming away feeling totally depressed and beaten, there are elements of hope."
The Trevor Howard voiceover narration in Memory of the Camps is strangely reminiscent of the one that director Carol Reed himself read over the opening of The Third Man (in which Howard co-starred.) It has the same sardonic understatement as it describes the devastation wreaked by the war. In the new version, the words will remain (but have now been recorded by a contemporary actor.)
For Hitchcock fans, the Holocaust film is a cause for both excitement and wariness. On the one hand, it seems obvious that his work on the documentary must have had a profound influence on him. He may have been a "treatment advisor" on the project rather than its actual director but his exposure to imagery as extreme as this must have coloured his approach to depicting horror and violence on screen.
The wariness comes from the sense that it is both distasteful and absurdly reductive to see a Nazi atrocity documentary as a " Hitchcock movie". We will never know exactly how much he contributed to the film, even if it seems certain that his ideas about how it should be structured were taken on board.
Billy Wilder, who directed Death Mills (1945), an American film about the German atrocities, was forthright about why he did not want atrocity footage to be seen in later years. Wilder questioned whether it had worked in "re-educating" the German civilian population about what their leaders had been doing in their name.
"They [the Germans] couldn't cope with it. He [Wilder] told me people just left the screening or closed their eyes. They didn't want to see," Wilder's friend Volker Schlöndorff*5 recalled in a 2011 interview. "They found out it was almost unbearable to see these documents and almost indecent for the victims or the people related to the victims."
*1:Via Ben Child “Unseen Alfred Hitchcock Holocaust documentary to be released “ http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/jan/10/unseen-alfred-hitchcock-holocaust-documentary-screening
*2:Mentioned in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20050711 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20061212/1165946447 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070413/1176452803 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20101209/1291923858 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110129/1296326503 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130816/1376590973 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20131218/1387371986 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141222/1419214527
*3:http://bergen-belsen.stiftung-ng.de/ See eg. “Bergen-Belsen” Holocaust Encyclopedia http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005224-title=Bergen-Belsen-accessdate=April “Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp: History & Overview” Jewish Virtual Library http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Belsen.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen-Belsen_concentration_camp http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%99%E3%83%AB%E3%82%B2%E3%83%B3%E3%83%BB%E3%83%99%E3%83%AB%E3%82%BC%E3%83%B3%E5%BC%B7%E5%88%B6%E5%8F%8E%E5%AE%B9%E6%89%80
*5:http://www.volkerschloendorff.com/ See eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volker_Schl%C3%B6ndorff http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A9%E3%83%AB%E3%82%AB%E3%83%BC%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%83%89%E3%83%AB%E3%83%95