This 1948 doc about the postwar Nuremberg trials is showing at the Barbican for one week with intros before each screening by the director Stuart Schulberg’s daughter, Sandra, plus other guests. Which is just as well, as with little context ‘Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today’ could easily come across as an unhappy, if compelling, patchwork of wartime footage and recordings of the trial itself. The film becomes more interesting when you learn it was produced in adversity: filming at the trial was restricted and the availability of footage to illustrate the crimes committed by the Nazis was limited (Schulberg worked in a US Army unit under John Ford to collect such footage from Germany and formerly Nazi-occupied territories). So, part of the interest is that ‘Nuremberg’ was made at all. Once you consider, too, that it was only ever screened in Germany as part of a ‘re-education’ campaign and that its aim was to stress the transparent, rational approach of the trials, it becomes fascinating – as an artefact emerging from the immediate calm following a global storm.
Friday June 8 2012