Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Looking for it...

I made a film in 2011, about the fishermen in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. I had a few months to finish the project, and I decided to make it primarily in the monsoon. Clearly an urban individual's look at the community, the film was shot over a week, in the small village called Veldur, near Ratnagiri. I have footage that can be worked to make a longer film out of this. However, I think that it is more important that I found a thread that needs to be followed. The thread of the Father - Son duo of Kishor Padal, and his son, Kunal (strange coincidence!), is something that can develop into a nice story of changing times and lifestyles in the community. Kunal says that he does not really want to be a fisherman, but gets excited everytime he sees a boat, he is already eager to get on one of the boats in the village and help out with the fishing. However, over the last few years, catches have seen a sharp drop, the sea has been plundered, and there is not a safe future in sight. Add to this different dimensions of loans, debt-ridden operations, and general lack of monetary safeguards. I am looking for people to fund this project. Please put me in touch with anyone who can. Even personal funding is good.

Please watch my film here:
  Daryache Raje (Kings of the Sea) from Kunal Deshpande on Vimeo.

If you like it and wish to put me in touch with someone who can fund it, or wish to fund a part of it yourself, please write to me at kunal.photography@gmail.com

Please spread the word and the film. Your help is appreciated. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

And Again...

So, I spent a lot of time thinking whether there is any point to writing anything about the recent events or not. There is definitely a point in one expressing his/her views about an event that is so brutal and heinous as the Delhi gang rape. But what purpose am I, sitting in a city far off and pontificating about it, going to serve; to a cause that needs the most urgent and sincere attention?
But after a point, when one keeps reading the news, one is bound to feel helpless that one cannot actually be there and say something about it, be a part of the protests that are happening to try and make the government, for once, sit up and take notice that the people of this country are not idiots who have put you there to have your way and say, “we are looking into the matter, we have ordered an enquiry.” We all know how much of BullShit that is. I just want to say a few things about the issue. I know that I am not a woman and I probably will never understand the women's perspective or problems. I just wish to say a few things as a friend, a brother, son, and a potential father of a girl someday.
This naturally, as we all know is not the first case of such a crime. The brutality, and heinous nature of it is probably a first. It is a reflection of the direction in which our society is headed. What are we teaching? What are we learning? What are we standing to be, and what are we displaying to the younger generations? Over the years we have seen women being subjected to violence. At home, on the street, in movie theaters, even in the movies. Then there are cops who come out to say more often than not that it is the girl's fault. What fault? Is it her fault if she wants to look good? Is it her fault that she has a body? Do these cops mean to say that we, like some countries in this world, should make our women wear a burkha? Ok, if we do that, HELLO! RAPES HAPPEN DESPITE THAT! So what is the problem? The problem is social and mental. We are conditioned to think that women are subject to our whims and fancies. It starts with a simple question that a woman can ask a man, like “why?” and the answer, will almost always be, “because I said so!”. From there begins a case of conditioning of a child, where if he is a boy, he learns that women can be ordered around, and made to serve. If it is a girl, she learns that she has to take it lying low.
Break out of that, and you have had it. If you are a guy, you will be called a sissy, fattu, lacking manlihood etc etc. If you are a girl, you will be called loose, characterless, or low. I dont know from where this has filtered into our culture, because from what I remember reading in school, we were a country, or a culture, which respected its women, where women would be held in high esteem. I guess all that was hogwash. I guess we never did, and that is why it is a chronic problem with us. This problem needs to be dealt with from the root. From homes, from schools, where these malevolence develops. Children need to be taught how to respect women. They need to know that the moment they disrespect a woman, they are also disrespecting their own mothers. Now I know that most of the things that I am saying are probably utopian, however as I said, I just want to air my views.
I have sisters, I have a mother, and I don't know how to react when any of them decide to go out late, or are getting back from work late. Going by what the cops say, should I be thinking that they are the ones who would want to get this? Should be afraid for their safety all the time that they are out?
Every time that this happens, we are told that the solution is for people to go back home early. No. I don't think so. I think that the solution is what my friend told me. It is that people should work later through the nights, have places open till later in the night. The more people there are around all the time, the lesser the chance of crime in general. And if it does happen, you will still potentially have more witnesses to nail the bloody criminals. When there are things that are open 24 hours, the government will obviously generate more revenue from the extra income that these places make. See, the basic problem is that these things generally happen in dark, secluded areas. Especially in the night, when because of our “regulations” and “curbs and norms”, the whole freaking city is probably a dark, secluded area. Why should anyone live in fear or paranoia? Don't people in the government's policy making machinery have friends, sisters, mothers, wives and daughters? Oh yeah I almost forgot. They are either kept at home, or they have security. But what about the countless women from the general public? Why should my friends have to be in fear of even stepping out? Why should they be afraid of enjoying a good time with a few friends if they want to?
Now that people are protesting for the same, the government tells them. Don't protest. We are talking about it. Does the government really think that people are going to buy their shit anymore? I want to ask a question. Where are all the so-called youth leaders? Where is Rahul Gandhi? Don't they feel the angst of the general public. The problem is also that I am having to say “General Public” and “ them”. This in itself shows that we don't relate to our politicians as one of us. This is because they never feel like one of us either. We are still living in a feudal country, a country which is governed by a few who have developed a convenient cycle of refreshing their need to be in power. Anyway, that was a digression from my main point. How does one even begin to solve this problem?
It is a problem that I don't think can be solved by just protests and capital punishment. Capital punishment will only reduce the chances of any woman surviving a rape. In this case however, there needs to be an example set by the government if they want to redeem any shame. However, for the future, capital punishment might not be a solution. Because rapes are not going to stop in a day. A chronic problem needs some time to be solved. So till then, what can be done? There needs to be mental and cultural cleaning where people are taught to respect women, as I have said earlier. However, that alone will not be enough. Women also need to be made to feel safe. There needs to be better policing, and the police need to be better. I genuinely think again that having the cities open all night would be a pragmatic solution to an age old problem. It will not solve it all though. The things that I have mentioned before, will also have to be worked out and will need to be working properly if it has to be effective.
But on another note, why are protests happening only in Delhi? Why is Mumbai quiet? On top of that why are people from cities like Mumbai and Pune celebrating? Mumbai has no reason to be so proud because Mumbai has the second highest number of rape cases reported in the country. People from Pune, shut up and stop celebrating. Rather focus on making the city safer so that it never gets this “rape sheet”. And don't forget that there are rapes that happen even in Pune and that only a few years back, Pune was notorious for sexual harassment and rapes at certain areas.
If this does not spread, it is going to go down as just another case in that city called Delhi.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

cliffhanger

a cliff,
a high cliff,
and a spot at the bottom
on the white carpet of snow
lies there dead
the dream
clouds cloud my vision
I swoop down and lay my hands on the dream
swoop back up and eat it all
I relish the flavor
I savour the taste
then I realise that the dream was not mine
but I have eaten it now,
so it is inside me,
I am the dream
the dream is me

I am.
 a Vulture

I wonder

 I sit at the edge,
     reflecting,
in the water,
    and in the sky,
 feel the cold wind,
brush against my skin,
   blood rushes through my veins,
 I smell that fragrance,
      which draws me into a slumber,
a slumber that I never wake up from....

wonder,
a strange word,
a strong word,
an emotional,
vivid,
word.
after all,
just a word.


Stories

There are stories and there are more stories. Stories are told to be believed in, to create a connect, to be re-told. Sometimes our real life actions lead to becoming stories. Sometimes they become part of gossip, which is also a kind of storytelling. Sometimes we expect it and sometimes we don't. I didn't.

 There are times when I wonder what must have become of me in that story that is going around? Will I be able to recognize that person if he walks into the same room as I? He will of course have the same face, same features, same everything. But his actions, his demeanour might not be me at all. There will of course be some close similarities, because the creator of the story is someone who I knew very well at a point in time. It is funny however when one hears a story about themselves from someone who heard it from someone who does not even know them. That is what happened recently.

I met someone after long and that person went, " you know what, I heard this about you. And you know the person telling me was totally judging you man." I almost fell off my chair laughing. That was because the person who was talking about me has never even seen my face. Forget having met me and interacted with me. I said, " you know I guess these people never really got a job, or have anything better to do in life that poke into unknown individuals' lives and talk about it. Let them. I would get some airtime in the process I guess :P"

However when one sits back and thinks about it, it does suck quite a bit. Why are people who had nothing to do with what happened between me and the other individual trying to judge it? who asked them for an opinion? Who asked them to take the hot seat and decide what is right and what is wrong for me. The only people who have the right or the privilege to do that are my parents and after them my immediate family members. About those who want to make me so important in their life that they want to spend time thinking and analysing my actions as to whether they were right/wrong, timed well or not, ethical/unethical... Best of luck. Please go ahead and waste more time. Because, I don't give a flying donkey's ass about what you think. I really don't care. Fine. You guys might have been important at a certain point in time, but your own actions and behaviours have alienated you from me. I have never been that hurt as I was when all my friends, obviously excepting a few, decided to simply buzz off, without even having the decency to tell that you know what I dont want to talk to you. I would have been ok with that. Absolutely.

I really don't understand how these things work. Fine. I did wrong. What do you care? Why do you have to have an opinion about it? How does that affect you and me? How does it affect the independent relationship that I shared with you as a general friend, or a contact of yours?

The crux of the matter is that There is a horde of donkeys flying out there and I don't give any of their asses for you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bolero SLX


Bolero SLX
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

I just had to take this picture when I saw the natural setting that was being made by Mother Nature around us at the moment. The light was perfect, the grass was perfect, the off-road trail that we took was also near perfect.... This photograph had to be taken...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Uneasy Sleep


Uneasy Sleep
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

This is all that I have been doing for a while now... I work.. Then I sleep.. I read... And I sleep... I eat... and then I sleep.... I sleep, and I sleep....

10


10
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

Blind by choice...


7
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

Do we really want to be completely blind to what is happening around us when we say we want to???

Friday, April 27, 2012

Gateway of India


Gateway of India
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

A panorama that I shot at the gateway of India. this is only the second time that I have shot a panorama. I am quite liking this.. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Portrait 1


Portrait 1
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

This is the beginnings of my effort to create a series of portraits with the simplest of means, use the house lights for what they are worth, and capture people in this particular part of my residence. Everytime anyone visits our house, I take them to this spot in the house, and take a picture. Hope to get a nice series going pretty quick.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

BreathTaking place that I have seen recently

I have been shooting my diploma film in the Konkan region and for that, I have had to travel across the Sahyadri ranges everytime I was going to the location from home and back. During these travels, I used 4 different routes, and was stunned when I saw this on one of those routes. This place is amazing not only for the visual impact, but also the atmosphere there. We were driving through clouds for about 5 -7 Kilometres before we reached a steep U-turn, where we saw the view that we see in this video, and we just stopped. It was raining and that still did not stop us from getting out of the car to see the view, and feel the crazy wind in our backs, making it difficult to hold ground. Enjoy this video.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Camera... New Video

Hi,
I just recently bought a Nikon D 7000. I bought the camera for its utility to me as I want to take pictures and videos at once, given the photo-filmmaking kind of work that I intend to do. I love the camera for its simple and powerful functionality. I have still to get used to it properly.
I took a few test shots of its video capabilities when it was just out of the box, and made this video :


I am highly impressed with the quality of video of this camera. It is not too far off the visual impact created by the supposedly "better off" video cameras from Canon, Like the 7D. Infact, I find this camera more spot on than the 7D in terms of color rendering for video. There is hardly any banding in daylight, or any burning out of colors. There will be things that will keep getting revealed as I keep exploring the boundaries of this camera. As and when new discoveries are made, they will be posted here.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A Being in Bhuj

This was the second time that we had been to Kutch as part of the Non-Fiction Filmmaking course in the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. When there, I went through a lot of learning about how a lot of things about non fiction filmmaking work. I had gone there with a completely different intent for a film, and came back with something that even I did not expect. However, in the meantime, a lot had transpired. I had gone there to make a film about Dholavira, an ancient Indus Valley Civilisation site in Kutch. However, after reaching there, I got disillusioned after watching the research footage that I had shot, and seeing the conditions more or less the same. So I thought that it did not make any sense to make a film where one could not really see anything in the frame. I had known, and Identified by then the proverbial "mistakes" that I had made in the first trip and first non-fiction film that I made, about BhojaBhai Meghwal. This time when I had gone there, I was armed with a more potent understanding of Non-Fiction film. This time, however we were given certain assignments to understand how camera and shot taking works for non-fiction film as opposed to fiction. This is how our trip here began. I made an attempt at it, and decided to just feel the moment that I was shooting. This was well received and appreciated by faculty as well as colleagues. I then, after the disillusionment from Dholavira, went and spoke to RV Ramani, one of India's most prolific and admirable non-fiction filmmakers, who was our guest faculty for this trip. After having discussions with him, I decided that I will make a film about the place I was living in, Bhuj. In certain ways, I tried taking the camera excercises forward, and in someways, tried to find a BEING IN BHUJ. There were times when I could achieve success in the path I had chosen, and sometimes when I failed miserably. But this was the biggest learning experience of my life for sure. This is what came out of it.

Thanks,
Kunal D




Portfolio Shot 1


Portfolio
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

This is a photograph from a recent portfolio I shot for a friend. There was a great sense of pleasure because I was returning to purely still photography after a long time of not doing anything constructive....

Tapping Water


Tapping Water
Originally uploaded by Kunal Deshpande

Monday, March 07, 2011

First Non Fiction Film From Kutch

This is the first non fiction filmmaking experience for me. We were in Kutch as part of our non-Fiction Semester at the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology in Bangalore. These films are made with the focus being the Craft of the Region of Kutch being at risk of dying out. The film tries to understand what the craft means to the Craftsman, BhojrajBhai Meghwal, and tries to know him as well. First attempt at filmmaking on the field, and alone, this film has many drawbacks, and I would like to know what people feel. Also, Would like to share the craft with people.

Bhojraj Meghwal - Kutch craft films from Kunal Deshpande on Vimeo.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Battleship Potemkin :

Battleship Potemkin : Dialectics & Socialist Realism:

- Kunal Deshpande

We will explore the Socialist Realism and Dialectics used in a 1925 film By Sergei Eisenstein, called Battleship Potemkin. For exploration of these two terms, we first need to understand what these terms mean. These two concepts are essential elements of Eisenstein’s body of work.

The term Socialist Realism means the kind of artistic expression that was used (especially in the Soviet Union) to forward the aims of socialism and communism. This was used largely in the Soviet Union after the end of the Tsarist period for propaganda of communism and the idea that everything was in the ownership of the proletariat (common people).

The concept of dialectics has its roots in communism and Marxism. The concept, in essence means that anything in this world (called the THESIS), comes into being with an opposite (called the ANTITHESIS). The conflicting nature of the Thesis and the Antithesis leads to a Synthesis, which is either an alternative remedy to the clash, or is an entirely different approach to achieving the desired result. According to Marxist Dialectics, the society is the thesis. The problems in society are the antithesis and the new social structure and form that emerges from the clash of the existing society and the problems is the Synthesis. This is an endless triangle of the clash between the thesis and the antithesis in society or economy, and the synthesis also has an antithesis and then leads to another synthesis and so on.

The film battleship Potemkin [N1] is a socialist realistic film, as has been said earlier. The film portrays how sailors on a ship by the name of the movie mutiny the autocratic and torturous leadership on the ship. This leads to a conflict in a town called Odessa where the people gather in large numbers to greet the ship, and they are indiscriminately fired upon by the Cossacks, who were the Tsarist guards. The struggle between the people and the Cossacks at the Odessa Staircase is what is going to be the focus of our study here. We will study the Soviet Socialist Realism used here along with the dialectic frames used by Eisenstein in the Odessa Staircase sequence. [N2]

THE ODESSA STAIRCASE:

The sequence of the Odessa staircase is the 4th act in the film, which is made of 5 parts or acts. [N3] The sequence begins with text telling the viewers that the town of Odessa was with the sailors (in spirit). The sequence then shows a lot many boats streaming toward the ship with food and supplies. Following this is the portrayal of many people standing on the massive staircase and waving out to the ship. Here, in one shot, there is a lady who looks well to do by her attire, which is a white gown, standing on the staircase with one foot on a higher step and one on the lower. The frame only shows her gown below the knees, with an umbrella touching the floor. There is a woman wearing a similar BLACK gown in the right mid edge of the frame. Between these two ladies, a disabled, haggard looking man comes into the frame from the right. This is an indicator that Eisenstein has used to establish the social stratification in Soviet Russia. This also indicates, according to Marxist / Hegelian dialectics, that the women and the man are the thesis and the antithesis, and that the class-driven clash will yield a classless society, which will be the synthesis. There is a very notable distinction between the attires of the ladies and that of the man, by which one can infer that the classes of these people are apart, but even then they are together in that space to greet the people controlled ship Potemkin?. This unison for the cause of the ‘control of the people’ is an example of Socialist Realism as it puts forth the idea of control being in the hands of the people, as important[N4] .

The next dialectic is found in the sub-sequence of the Cossacks shooting indiscriminately at the people gathered. Here, the framing and continuity editing used here is replete with dialectics and propagandist realism. The shooting begins with a woman’s mid shot, where she is shown to be screaming and writhing in pain as if somebody stabbed her in the back. The shot is taken from a low angle, letting the woman cover the whole frame. Then there is a shot where there is a statue pointing ahead, in the left of the frame, in the foreground. Below the statue, the Cossacks are marching toward the starting point of the massive staircase, slowly taking space in the frame. People are shown running away from them, on the staircase. The camera position gives the viewer a feeling of being in control, or being the higher authority as we look from a higher point of view, looking at the scene as something that is happening at a level below us. This is because of the framing and the mise en scene, which is the arrangement of elements in the frame to put forth what the filmmaker wants to convey to the viewer. [N5] The sequence then shows a mother and son running down the seemingly endless stairs. (Eisenstein has used a very typical semiological “signifier” in the Mother who is a very typical character. The “signified” here is the typical helplessness of women[N6] , especially the ones from the lower classes in the Feudal Heirarchy, and their struggle against it.[N7] In keeping with James Monaco’s article on How to Read a Film, the film, as mentioned above, also does not have a vast difference between the ‘signifier’ and the ‘signified’.) [N8] The son gets shot and falls behind. The mother, upon realizing that her son has fallen back and is dead, gets very upset and angry, and starts walking back up the stairs. While she is walking back, she picks up her son and carrying him in her arms, proceeds towards the Cossacks. The shots that follow are taken from the side where the Cossacks are seen entering the frame from the left top and exiting from the right bottom. Here there is a suggestion that the Cossacks are the ones higher in the social order, wielding more power, and they are descending upon something or someone with deadly force. The mother is shown in the same way, from the side, walking up the stairs looking upwards. She enters the frame from the right and exits from the left. Thus Eisenstein establishes the eminent clash between the Cossacks and the mother.

The frame is as follows :

This clash between the mother and the Cossacks leaves the mother dead as in their quest to retain power and control, the Cossacks shoot her dead too. This was a shocking moment in the film for the viewers in the 1920s, when the film was made. Eisenstein, in his theory of filmmaking dialectics, states that any 2 shots are dialectic in nature, as the clash between the shots leads to the evoking of emotion in the viewer by creating shock for them. This sequence in Battleship Potemkin shocked the audience when the film was made. The shock was created because the film evoked the sense of Pathos (as in Aristotle’s views of dramatics) in the spectator due to the powerlessness of the mother. The fact that in the sequence, the mother, even though powerless, was still courageous enough to go against the Cossacks. By doing so, it proved the theory put forward by Eisenstein to be true.

In the following parts of the sequence, taken from the base of the stairs at eye-level, the viewer can see some Cossacks riding horseback and hitting people. They enter from the bottom left, and remain in the bottom center of the frame throughout the shot. There are people still running down the stairs through a lot many dead bodies lying on the steps. Some of them are shown getting shot and adding to the number of dead. This sequence has suggestions of how the proletariat (people) always got stuck & exploited between the power and force of the Bourgeoisie (privileged class of society).

The way some more shots have been taken is also in keeping with the socialist realist motives of the film. The common people have been shot mostly at the eye-level. The few more privileged people on some frames have been shot from a slightly lower angle, suggesting that their status and position in society is higher than that of the viewer. The Cossacks have been shot from a low angle and also from high angles. The switching angles of looking at the Cossacks suggests the viewpoints of the people, who look at them from below in the social hierarchy, and from the viewpoint of the higher placed people in society, who are above the Cossacks, in the hierarchical construction of the Tsarist Feudal social order. This portrays society in as real a way as can be done.

When the film was made, the Proletariat Government controlled the portrayal of society, and there was very little creative freedom that any director could avail while making a film. This given, the way the movie portrays the events, is very close to the real events on which the director has based his film. The real events on which the film is based are the mutiny on the real ship called battleship Potemkin while the ship was returning from a los in the Russo-Japanese war, and the subsequent clampdown on people by the Tsarist Cossacks during the Bolshevik rebellion in 1907.

Eisenstein was a supporter of the Marxist ideology and vied for a classless society. That is why he made propagandist films in this time period. The way Karl Marx had imagined a communist society was one where there was no stratification, whether vertical or horizontal. The society that he had wanted was a utopian idea. However, during the reign of Stalin, there was a certain hierarchy and stratification of the society during the ‘proletariat dictatorship’ as it was called. Eisenstein probably wanted to trigger the thoughts of the people toward breaking out of this kind of a stratified society and into a classless, utopian society.

The film carries a lot from the Semiological perspective of looking at film. As stated above, the film certainly uses the Signifier and the Signified[N9] . Also, like stated in James Monaco’s article on how to read a film- signs, the film definitely carries in it an ability to denote and connote. The connotation of power hierarchy is surely done by the angling of shots as mentioned earlier (People higher in social order being shot from lower angles, and subsequent lower classes shot from eye level or even high angles.) The Cossacks are shot from low angles and high angles, connoting the power that they have, as well as establishing the viewpoint, and drawing the viewer into the struggle by making him feel powerful by being above the Cossacks in the particular Statue shot as explained earlier. These connotations are called Paradigmatic Connotations, according to James Monaco. The arrangement of the shots and the story that they tell the spectator denote the struggle between the general peoples of Russia and the Feudal order of the Tsarist era.

This sequence that we have seen is a part of this film that has the most dramatic shock and a fast pace of events happening one after the other. That is the reason for choosing the sequence for the study of the historically important film Battleship Potemkin.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Night and Fog :

Reflecting on Night and Fog by Alain Resnais :


In Night and Fog, Resnais deals with the holocaust. He does not, though, deal with it in the institutionalized manner of the Jewish memory of the event. He chooses instead to use the world impact of the horrifying events of the holocaust, and construct a common memory for the viewer in the film. Except for one sentence, the film never uses the word “Jew”. The film follows an intellectual montage style throughout, using the juxtaposition of two images next to one another to create a meaning out of them. Jean Cayrol, who was a survivor of the concentration camps, has written the text for the film. The vocal narration of the film has been done with a very dry and seemingly emotionless voice. This was done on purpose by Resnais to make the viewers feel more of the cold brutality of the memory of the concentration camps and the atrocities perpetrated. Holistically, the film carries a very matter-of-fact view about the whole event and its horror. Michel Bouquet, who has narrated the film, was specifically asked by Resnais to have a very matter-of-fact voice in the film so as not to create a feeling of alignment with anyone in the film.

Visual Treatment:

Resnais takes the montage forward when he uses tracking shots to introduce the viewer to a space in the film. From the opening sequence where he tracks down to reveal the barbed wire before the pristine pastoral beauty of a vast open field, to when he tracks around the ovens / furnaces that were used to burn the bodies, to the last shot, where he tracks over the muddled swampy water over the graves, and along the dilapidated electric chair, and then around the ruin of a building of the camp complex. He makes the viewer feel the space by using an eye level camera height, and the track pace is of a slow walk around the space. The way he places the camera close to the fences of the camp compounds makes the viewer feel trapped inside. The light used to shoot the buildings would be considered a very “perfect” light, however, it gives the spaces a certain duality of emotion. It is common memory of what transpired inside those buildings of the concentration camps, which gives the duality of emotion along with the light. There are a lot of still images from the time used in the film, which help the viewer in visualizing the ghastly horror of the camps. These images, in combination with the film footage of the bulldozers pushing heaps of dead bodies into large pits dug as common graves for the millions who were killed in the camps. The images of the victims of het camps standing naked in large numbers, shows the viewer how they were humiliated. The voiceover narration over these images remains very matter-of-fact, lending it coldness as mentioned before. In the shot where the train comes into the camp in the night and fog, and the following shot of the same tracks in present times, the viewer can feel like a victim of the camp because of the camera angle and movement used. The camera keeps tracking forward, looking down at the tracks, and then gradually tilts up, revealing the main building and entrance of the camp. The narration over this bit gives the viewer the context to imagine. With the description of the barking dogs, fallen bodies on the sides of the tracks, and the massive searchlights etc, the viewer can very well imagine what the situation could have been at that time. In addition to the aforementioned points about the visual treatment of the film, there are other points as well like the shifting from black and white images of the found footage, to the colored images of the footage that he shot while making the film. This also lends a temporal passage of time in the narrative without mentioning it in words. The film never tells the viewer about the time that it is engaging the viewer in.

Temporal spaces:

Resnais in this film does not follow the exact chronological order of events. He was of the opinion that he was not interested n representing reality. Therefore he does not follow the exact chronological order of events in the film, while depicting the concentration camps. The film successfully establishes different temporal spaces by using color and black and white images for the depiction of the past and the present for the film. The film also shows the concentration camps in the present first, in the opening sequence and then it goes to show the processes that were followed in the times when the concentration camps existed. The film then also goes to show the unified and machine like way in which the German “Fatherland” used to function. In the scenes where Michel Bouquet says that “ The machine goes into action”, there are shots of hundreds and thousands of people doing the same action together, in the militarized fashion that was the mark of the third Reich. He then uses another shot, taken from a low angle, from the triumph of the will, where soldiers with Deutschland banners walk in a line to separate left and right near the camera, in a mechanical fashion, echoing the words of Bouquet. The temporal connections are also made by Resnais by using the common memory of the Second World War that people all over the world have. He uses this fact to create the ‘internal cinema’ or experience in the viewers’ minds. When he talks about the nail marks on the ceiling of the gas chambers in the camps, the viewers’ mind immediately begins to imagine how low the ceiling must have been. More so because to make a mark on concrete, person needs a lot of force, which makes it imperative that the ceilings were very low.

Creating Associations:

Resnais uses the natural tendency of people to his advantage to tell his story of the camps in Auschwitz. He never shows video footage of the torture that transpired in Auschwitz. But he shows images of men and women being paraded naked through the camp, trains getting filled to the brim with people and reaching a station with many dead in them already. As said before, he has married these images to a narration that is almost emotionless. This lends the coldness needed for the human mind to make an association of the dehumanization and the cold horror of the camps. He creates the association of the people in the camps being tortured and treated like animals by juxtaposing the images of them being packed into halls and buildings like animals, being paraded naked, and then the images of the latrines where one can easily imagine the way they must have had to sit right next to each other to perform daily chores. This way, the mind has the capability of manufacturing a memory for itself, by which even if a viewer is not completely acquainted with the details of the holocaust, he can construct a memory of the holocaust for himself while and after watching this film. However he does not use the technique of creating illusions at all in the film. All through the film, he only uses real images from the times when the genocide was perpetrated, juxtaposes them and creates a meaning out of them.