Lest We Forget Belsen

48 years after his first film, Breaker, maverick Australian filmmaker Frank Shields (ozploitation staples Hostage and The Surfer) returns to documentary and war with Remember Belsen.

“It started with a newspaper article regarding the finding of this extraordinary footage taken during the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the dying days of WW2 and stored away from public scrutiny for forty years,” Frank Shields tells us how a Sydney based filmmaker ends up making a Holocaust documentary. “Plus, the fact that Alfred Hitchcock had a hand in putting together a film made from it!

“I flew to London and viewed the footage at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) and was sure there were no images shot by a camera in the 20th century that could compare with the powerful images of Belsen. So, I licensed the footage and went home to make a film, knowing there had to be great story attached to it. But several US networks saw the same footage and in no time, I was blown out of the water, so to speak. It would be many years later when I met Alan Moore [whose iconic “Blind Man in Belsen” is part of the Australian War Memorial collection; and is the main image for this article] who opened up what I came to believe was one of the great stories in modern history. It was at that time I decided to make my present film.”

Read the article by Dov Kornits on FilmInk.