a documentary so frightening, it even scared its director

a documentary so frightening, it even scared its director

Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) is regarded as one of the masters of 20th Century suspense/horror. Psycho (1960) made people afraid to use hotel showers and The Birds (1963) instilled a wave of Ornithophobia in the movie-going public. for all of his spooky stories, Hitchcock also had a brilliantly demented sense of humor as depicted in the opening segments of his teleplay series Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962). but did anyone ever stop to think that even Hitchcock might have some fears of his own? actually, yes he did.

during the 1940’s, Hitchcock directed a documentary on the Holocaust. however, he was so traumatized by what he saw up close that he supposedly avoided Pinewood Studios for an entire week and the film was never screened for the public…until now.

the footage, which was subsequently shelved, was discovered in a cannister at the Imperial War Museum in the early 1980’s. five of the six film reels aired on PBS in 1985 under the title Memory of the Camps.” now that the final reel has been discovered, the entire documentary will be ready for release this year. it will no doubt be disturbing and upsetting, but it will also be poignant and memorable like the man who created it so many years ago. 


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