Holocaust: Affect and Absence

All depictions of the Holocaust grapple with a central question: how does one represent the unrepresentable? The continuous stream of new films about the Holocaust, more than seventy years after the end of World War II, attests to both the difficulties and the importance of this problem. The films selected for this series span these decades and challenge us to think about how much is said through silence and fraught emotional connections between the films and their audiences. This program of documentaries ranges from some of the first filmic reflections of the atrocities in the camps in Billy Wilder’s Death Mills (1945) and Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (1956), to a search for the lost East European Jewish communities of Ruth Beckermann’s family members before WWII in her film Paper Bridge (1987), to Chantal Akerman’s moving final film about her relationship to her mother and their relationship to her mother’s past in No Home Movie (2015). The films all reflect on questions of responsibility, violence, and humanity in ways that resonate in the present day, thus creating compelling albeit complicated relationships between past and present.

This series is a collaboration between the George Eastman Museum, the JCC Ames Amzalak Rochester Jewish Film Festival, and the University of Rochester. It is made possible in part by the University of Rochester’s German Program, Film and Media Studies Program, and Center for Jewish Studies.

Date:
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. Death Mills was the first documentary to show what the Allies found when they liberated the Nazi extermination camps. Night and Fog contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps’ quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage.
Date:
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. Night Will Fall uses archive footage and testimony from both survivors and liberators to tell of the liberation of the German concentration camps.
Date:
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. Director Arnon Goldfinger' s moving family portrait and an insightful look at the ways different generations deal with the memory of the Holocaust.
Date:
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. Tracing the migratory paths of her family before World War II, director Ruth Beckermann returns to the European Jewish communities which inspired her childhood stories.
Date:
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Time:
2 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. Made over a decade, Histoire(s) du cinéma is an extraordinary look at film through the eyes of Jean-Luc Godard.
Date:
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence. The Maelstrom adds a devastating dimension to our understanding that no Hollywood movie, no other documentary, has been able to provide. Respite consists of silent black-and-white films shot at Westerbork, filmed by a prisoner.
Date:
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Time:
7:30 p.m.
Location:
Dryden Theatre
Holocaust: Affect and Absence| Rochester Premiere. In her final masterpiece, Chantal Akerman creates a portrait of her relationship with her mother, Natalia, a Holocaust survivor and central presence in Akerman’s films.