Images Thinking Mass Destruction: Night and Fog

3/2008

Tero Karppi

Tero Karppi’s article “Images Thinking Mass Destruction: Night and Fog” considers cinema as a medium of thinking. The article asks how cinema and in this case Alain Resnais’ documentary film Night and Fog (France 1955) can help to think the catastrophic events that took place during the Second World War in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany.

The mass destruction of millions of people is often considered as unimaginable but the article points out that these kinds of assertions are untenable and actually cinema has the potentiality to open these events for thought. Night and Fog is used as an example of the deleuzean crystal-image which breaks away from conventional cinematic narration. When freed from the chains of, for example, temporal causality and human viewpoint, cinema starts to look at the world with its own view. Night and Fog differentiates images of past and simultaneously the past opens itself in the images. These images force us to think even beyond what is shown.