From Where They Stood

Christophe Cognet

IndieLisboa 2021 •

France, Germany, Documentary, 2021, 110′

Christophe Cognet visits World War II concentration and extermination camps, such as Ravensbrück, Dachau or Auschwitz-Birkenau, evoking the presence of people who went through them and tried, clandestinely, to photograph and document the horror they saw with their own eyes. This evocation is made through the photographs that Cognet was able to obtain, juxtaposing the images captured with the locations in their contemporaneity.

Photography as memory. From Where They Stood is an investigation-film in which the director is interested in understanding the degree of risk of preserving the memory of crimes committed against humanity. During World War II, a group of deportees from the concentration camps of Ravensbrück, Dachau and Auschwitz-Birkenau risked their lives to take clandestine photographs that documented what was happening in those camps and that the Nazis were hiding from the world. These men and women, with the complicity of other prisoners, managed to document unique images of the horrors of those camps. With the crosshairs on the lens, we realise where each one of them was at the time of the shot. A hard and difficult film that helps us not to forget the past. (Miguel Valverde)