From Where They Stood Reviews: Production, Release Date, and Everything You Need to Know!

From Where They Stood, also known as pas aveugles, is a 2021 Holocaust documentary by French documentarian Christophe Cognet that examines images secretly shot by Nazi concentration camp inmates at Dachau, Auschwitz, Mittlelbau-Dora, and Buchenwald during World War II. The photos were smuggled out of the concentration camps and developed either during or after the war.

Production of From Where They Stood

Analyzed in the film is a cropped photograph of bodies being burned at Auschwitz.
In contrast to other Holocaust documentaries that rely on survivors’ testimonies, Cognet opted for an investigative approach. He meticulously examined each shot to pinpoint the precise location where it was taken.

The film opens with images taken in secret by a Dachau prisoner who worked as a nurse in the prison infirmary. These depict the jail barracks and pictures of detainees, who pose informally at times.

The photographs differ from those taken during the war for propaganda purposes by German photographers and those taken shortly after liberation by the Allies. These photographs were taken by captives of prisoners at tremendous risk to themselves.

Rudolf Cisar at Dachau, Georges Angeli at Buchenwald, and Alberto Errera at Auschwitz were among the photographers. Some photographers and subjects in the concentration camps were members of resistance organizations.

Some photographs depict female inmates exposed to medical experimentation, with damage to their legs caused by Nazi “doctors.” One approach involved injecting gangrene into an open wound.From Where They Stood

The program closes with a comprehensive investigation of images taken near a gas chamber at Auschwitz. The photos depict naked women preparing to be led to the gas chamber and photographs taken after the gassing that defined carcasses piled in open pits for incineration.

The film opens and closes with a scene of a pond where cremated remains were dumped, depicting bone shards that become visible decades later following heavy rains. The film made its U.S. premiere at the 2022 New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center and was released in July 2022 in North America.

From Where They Stood Release Date

From Where They Stood is released on 14 June 2021, following IMDB. And further details about the movie are given in the article.

Reviews for From Where They Stood

In one of the most challenging sequences in “From Where They Stood,” we see four photographs taken inside the Buchenwald concentration camp by Alberto Errera, a Jewish prisoner from Greece who was a member of the Sonderkommando — the inmates who were allowed to live, at least temporarily, because they agreed to be part of the camp’s grisliest work detail.

There is no documented photograph of what transpired within the gas chambers. However, Errera got close by secretly photographing the gas chambers, providing a glimpse of what occurred before and after.

One of his photographs depicts a group of women prisoners, some of whom are naked, in a wooded area; they believe they are about to shower, which is the deception prisoners were told to convince them to enter the gas chambers.

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Additionally, two images of the Sonderkommando — the only two that survive — depict several of them strolling through a sea of corpses that they have just removed from the gas chambers.

The crematorium was not operating on that day. Thus their task was to burn the bodies in the open air. The most disturbing aspect of the photograph is the smoke rising all around them.

A decade after the end of World War II, the French director Alain Resnais produced “Night and Fog” (1956), a 32-minute documentary about what transpired in the Nazi extermination camps. It remains the definitive chronicle of that dreadful atrocity for many of us.From Where They Stood

Resnais juxtaposed black-and-white material shot in the camps with scenes shot in color, frequently in the exact locations 10 years later, to create a dialectical picture of the past entwined with the present.

In “From Where They Stood,” director Christophe Cognet employs a similar tactic. In contrast, Resnais used half an hour of screen time to etch the Holocaust into our souls. With its circular spirals of talk, this film takes two hours to achieve something less fundamental.

In its slightly scholarly manner, the film is a meditation that heightens our perception. The photographic record of the Nazi era has occasionally given the impression that it was black and white.

The ultimate horror of what occurred in the camps remains unfathomable, a reality that no prisoner could have captured and that may be incomprehensible to view. And it gives these images a unique 20th-century aura of intrigue.

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However, “From Where They Stood” also depicts the vitality inherent in the existence of these photos. The prisoners who took the photographs took enormous risks to steal and smuggle cameras and conceal the exposed film rolls.

They did it as a kind of resistance: in seven photographs taken by Wenzel Polak — which, in some cases, amount to an extraordinary undermining of victimization myths — we see images of Polak and other compatriots smiling and assuming attitudes of calm strength.

Wrapping Up

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