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Lost in Light is a videoblog about small gauge filmmaking featuring weekly posts of home movies, work by artists, articles by preservationists and film scholars, video tutorials and other film gems.





click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

This week, we present an orphan film, purchased some time ago on eBay by Tony P. in France. The film features a visit to the small French town of Oradour-Sur-Glane, the site of the infamous massacre of 642 people – almost the entire population – by Germans during World War II. The remnants of destruction, seen throughout this film, have remain untouched as a memorial of this catastrophic event.The date of this film is unknown, but judging from the quality of the film and reel I would say it was fairly recently shot – 1980s or 1990s.

The story behind the images is too vast and complex to present here; instead, click here, here, and here for accounts that better explain and document the historical significance of this event.

See also this photo slideshow with accompanying map for a better sense of the geography of these locations.

Thanks to Tony P. for sending this all the way from France to us in Michigan for inclusion on this site.

Click the “MPEG-2” link above for a high-resolution version of the film, downloadable via the Internet Archive.


Comment from Robert Croma
Time: April 3, 2008, -5

Have always intended to visit Oradour-sur-Glane. Especially as we studied the massacre, as part of our First and Second World War projects, at school.

And as is the way with these things, only a few nights ago I watched a film I haven’t seen for some time, the brilliant yet harrowing Come and See by Elem Klimov. It covers similar ground in parts and is a profoundly haunting and pertinent celluloid tour de force.

Incredible that this was purchased via ebay. Never really considered looking there for old footage. Must check it out. Once again Lost in Light deepen the experience.