A Film Unfinished
Yael Hersonski’s powerful documentary achieves a remarkable feat through its penetrating look at another film-the now-infamous Nazi-produced film about the Warsaw Ghetto. Discovered after the war, the unfinished work, with no soundtrack, quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record, despite its elaborate propagandistic construction. The later discovery of a long-missing reel complicated earlier readings, showing the manipulations of camera crews in these “everyday” scenes. Well-heeled Jews attending elegant dinners and theatricals (while callously stepping over the dead bodies of compatriots) now appeared as unwilling, but complicit, actors, alternately fearful and in denial of their looming fate. Written by Sundance Film Festival
A Film Unfinished is an interesting documentary because it looks at an hour’s worth of footage that was found in Nazi archives that was shot at the Warsaw ghetto. It’s woven together with a first-person’s account of the Jew who was actually in charge of the ghetto and in charge of the filming project, and some holocaust survivors who were very young at the time looking at the footage to see if they recognize anybody, so it’s quite chilling. The problem I thought is — it’s sort of an interesting footnote to history, we’ve seen so many things that are more devastating than this. To a certain extent this is almost devastating in its ordinariness, but not easy to watch. I’m not sure exactly what the point was. So, I will give it two stars.