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The Holocaust on Film: Symposium and Screenings

Still from the film 'Night and Fog'

Friday 9 November 2012, 5.30PM to 7.30pm

Speaker(s): Professor Grisela Pollock (Leeds), Professor Max Silverman (Leeds) and Professor Sue Vice (Sheffield)

All staff and postgraduates are warmly invited to attend a series of events focussing on the filmic response to the Holocaust, culminating in a symposium with guest speakers Professors Max Silverman and Griselda Pollock (University of Leeds) and Professor Sue Vice (University of Sheffield).

In preparation for the workshop two important documentary films will be screened in the Berrick Saul Building to allow symposium participants and any other interested parties to watch and reflect on these works. Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah and Alain Resnais’s Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog) will form the bedrock of our discussions but we also question the role of cinema in Holocaust representation more generally. How do these films change and challenge the medium in light of their subject? What is at stake when filmmakers choose to tackle the Holocaust?

It is not necessary to register for these events and you do not need to attend the screenings to come to the symposium or vice versa. Both films are also available on DVD from the Library, and a copy of Max Silverman and Griselda Pollock’s book Concentrationary Cinema: Aesthetics as Political Resistance in Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog has been ordered through interlending, if you would like to look at this please email Seb (


Tuesday November 6th 17.30-19.30

Nuit et Brouillard (Night and Fog, 1955, Dir. Alain Resnais) followed by excerpts from Shoah)

Screening in BS/ 008, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

This screening will give participants the opportunity to view Resnais's potent documentary and excerpts from Lanzmann's monumental masterpiece together, inviting a comparative reading of the films. Night and Fog is 32 minutes and the excerpts from Shoah will fill the remaining hour and a half.

"Night and Fog made a decisive contribution to the way we regard the concentration camp system, while apprehensively inventing a gesture of cinema in order to face it. By assembling archival footage - some of it known, some of it revealed to French audiences for the first time - Resnais shaped our images of the camps." Sylvie Lindeperg

Friday 9th November 17.30-19.30

The Holocaust on Film Symposium

The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard, 1955) and Shoah (1985) have been described as inevitable reference points in examining the Holocaust on film. Whether this is because together they mark seminal moments in a developing post-traumatic discourse or more simply because they are poles apart, is a line of inquiry which warrants exploration. This symposium brings together leading academics, Professors Griselda Pollock (Leeds), Max Silverman (Leeds) and Sue Vice (Sheffield), all of whom have recently published books on these films, in order to animate the debate about the relationship between them.

Programme for the Symposium:

  • 17.30 Opening remarks from the organisers and from the chair Dr. Lisa Peschel (TFTV).
  • 17.40 Guest speakers: Professors Max Silverman and Griselda Pollock (University of Leeds) and Professor Sue Vice (University of Sheffield) will present 20 minute papers on Nuit et Brouillard and Shoah.
  • 18.40 Nominated respondents will provide a formal response to the presentations and an open discussion will follow to be chaired by Dr Lisa Peschel.
  • Drinks and nibbles.


Contact: Sebastian Owen Anthony Levin

Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building, University of York

Admission: All welcome - no registration necessary