Film Archive

Jahr

Retrospective 2021
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Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung BRD 1956] Alain Resnais
Paul Celan, creator of the “Death Fugue”, shaped the West German reception history of Resnais’ film with the lyrical rhythm and tense switches of his translation.
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Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung BRD 1956]

Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung BRD 1956]
Alain Resnais
Retrospective 2021
Documentary Film
France
1955
31 minutes
German
subtitles: 
None

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alain Resnais
Anatole Dauman
Samy Halfon
Philippe Lifchitz
Alain Resnais
Sacha Vierny
Ghislain Cloquet
Henri Colpi
Hanns Eisler
Paul Celan
Kurt Glass

“Le sang a caillé, les bouches se sont tues,” Jean Cayrol writes. Paul Celan translates: “The blood has congealed, the mouths have fallen silent.” Alain Resnais’ archive film about the National Socialist concentration camps set new standards for the essayistic form. The score by Hanns Eisler had nothing to fear from changes to another language version. But the words of Jean Cayrol, more elegy than commentary? Paul Celan, creator of the “Death Fugue” and already associated with Cayrol as his translator, was asked to translate it into German. His lyrical rhythm, his tense switches deviating from the original text have shaped the West German reception history of Resnais’ film.

Sylvia Görke
Retrospective 2021
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Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung DDR 1960] Alain Resnais
Henryk Keisch’s new translation for DEFA made up for Paul Celan’s omissions. In his version of the text, the Soviet Union, left out of the FRG version, returned to the circle of Nazi victims.
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Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung DDR 1960]

Nuit et brouillard [Synchronfassung DDR 1960]
Alain Resnais
Retrospective 2021
Documentary Film
France
1955
31 minutes
German
subtitles: 
None

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alain Resnais
Anatole Dauman
Samy Halfon
Philippe Lifchitz
Alain Resnais
Henri Colpi
Ghislain Cloquet
Sacha Vierny
Hanns Eisler
Henryk Keisch
Raimund Schelcher

“Le sang a caillé, les bouches se sont tues,” Jean Cayrol writes. Henryk Keisch translates: “The blood has dried, the mouths have fallen silent.” When Resnais’ film was to be licensed for theatrical release in the GDR, it seemed obvious to resort to the West German dubbed version. But Celan’s translation failed to meet the approval of DEFA. They found fault with elisions that, for example, omitted the deportees from the Soviet Union. The official correspondence ended on an apodictic note: The acquisition was considered “irresponsible”. The writer and translator Henryk Keisch, loyal to the party line, was commissioned to write a new version – and of course made up for Celan’s omissions.

Sylvia Görke