At the end of WWII, 60 minutes of raw film, having sat undisturbed in an East German archive, was discovered. Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May 1942, and labeled simply “Ghetto,” this footage quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of a long–missing reel, inclusive of multiple takes and cameraman staging scenes, complicated earlier readings of the footage. A FILM UNFINISHED presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing “the good life” enjoyed by Jewish urbanites, and probes deep into the making of a now–infamous Nazi propaganda film. A FILM UNFINISHED is a film of enormous import, documenting some of the worst horrors of our time and exposing the efforts of its perpetrators to propel their agenda and cast it in a favorable light.
- Yael Hersonski
- Run Time
- 1 hour 28 minutes
Moving, mysterious and intellectually provocative, A Film Unfinished positions familiar Holocaust horrors (the R rating was unsuccessfully contested) within a philosophical commentary on the way we view images.Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, 08.18.2010
The artificial look of the added footage, counterpointed by the commentary of inmates and survivors, only underscores the unending shock of the film's unadulterated images, even though we have seen them in other Shoah documentaries.Ella Taylor, Village Voice, 08.17.2010
What we are left with is perhaps one of the most disturbing 60 minutes of raw footage ever put together.Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle, 09.30.2010
Hersonski not only dispels the big lie at the center of the Nazi footage but she ingeniously separates and identifies the many smaller lies and where they entwined with facts.Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 09.23.2010