'From Hollywood to Nuremberg' and 'Filming the Camps' Beginning 22 March
"I lie with the camera. I lie like hell," asserts Samuel Fuller. "I don’t like people to leave. [Bodies] just fall. [But] they never fall: there're parts of them. The head is there, the balls are there, the ass is there, the feet are there. Boom, wham, wham. There's nothing but pieces of people." As Fuller speaks in From Hollywood to Nuremberg, screening on 22 March at Stranger Than Fiction, followed by a Q&A with director Christian Delage, Fuller waves his cigar, before a scene from The Big Red One demonstrates how he lied. Other scenes in the documentary show what he -- and George Stevens and John Ford -- shot in Europe, during and after the war. Shot in Dachau and Falkenau, these images show "pieces of people,"
These images are harrowing, not frenzied or actionated in the ways that so many fiction war films tend to be, but heartbreaking and upsetting. Delage's film is sobering, as you might expect from a documentary that accompanies an exhibit, Filming the Camps: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, but it’s also moving, practical-minded, and occasionally revelatory -- particularly during interviews with the directors and their crew members, such as Stevens' DP, Joseph Biroc, who remembers, "After all was said and done, I still knew that I was a coward. I've always found that the little quiet little man that nobody pays any attention to usually has more guts... and courage than the big blowhard the big noisy, you know, the big outspoken fellow. It’s the little man that does the courageous thing." From Hollywood to Nuremberg shows little guys again and again, not only US soldiers landing on beaches and entering camps to discover piles of corpses, but also camp survivors, crouched on skinny haunches in dusty yards or gazing dully at the camera. Their survival is no lie.