To speak of Auschwitz

I decided to begin my research by first looking at an example of a short film where the addition of elements in the progression of the telling make up the story.

Auschwitz, a video by Ravensteinstudio: accessed at

I think this short film successfully uses a variety of filmic techniques in its effort to try and give at least a semblance of the feeling in which one should approach the dreadful fact of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
I have addressed the impact of its audio treatment under the audio category and will now address the progress of the unfolding of the story with regard to other mediums of expression. I have looked closely at the work to find out what it is in its detail that impresses me.
1. The jagged scratchy shaking movement of each letter of the title sequence immediately sets the tone. The letters are roughly scrawled with nervous energy as though erasing themselves as they are written or as a method of scratching over to hide and redact what lies beneath.
2. A dark grey shape against a dark purple night sky looms towards us with the camera/image shaking in fear. What approaches?
3. Then the shape forms itself : it is the train entrance under which passed over 1 million souls to their deaths. The entrance is also a mouth screaming with the ultimate in human terror. It is reminiscent of The Mouth of Hell sculpture seen in the 16th C. Bomarzo Monster Park on which is inscribed Dante’s phrase, ‘every thought flies away’, an appropriate phrase when applied to the holocaust. (Image and quote accessed at

mouthofhell4. We pass under the gate and the railway lines lead us into an uncertain background. We step back and see the entire entrance and barrier for the first time.
5. The camera moves in to run along the barbed and electrified wire fence. Most lines we see are straight; horizontal or vertical. The only softer curved lines are the tops of the posts curved in like talons to prevent escape and the curved extensions holding the lamps which light the area between the two rows of wire to also prevent escape.
5. The camera then takes us the next step in our progress: inside the camp. And our progress ends as we stand near trees winter-stripped of foliage and we are mocked by the open gate: the prisoners did not exit here but through the crematorium chimneys. The slogan over the gate is the ironic ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (work makes free). 

Despite no introduction or narration that explains the theme of the film, the film is clear in what it is saying in its presentation both in visual and aural terms. Every sequence within the film contains images and sound to support the desired impact. It is a reminder to me to ensure each frame in my final film has a reason to be there.


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