Film is a powerful, often mesmerizing medium, and no regime understood this better than Nazi Germany. Audiences would do well to keep in mind what may be happening outside of the frame.
This is one of the takeaways from Yael Hersonski’s A FILM UNFINISHED. Hersonski – the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor – focuses on a never-released Nazi-propoganda film that depicted real, “every day” life in the Warsaw Ghetto – including callous attitudes of well-to-do Jews towards their poorer neighbors.
What makes this doc extraordinary is the interviews with Holocaust survivors who have viewed the footage and an interview with one of the film’s SS cameramen. The discrepancies between these memories, the historical footage and recently-found footage reveals the extent to which the Nazi filmmakers manipulated the images to create a certain history.
A FILM UNFINISHED will be an insightful contribution to how historians look at the Holocaust. From a technical standpoint, this film will be worth seeing for what is sure to be skillful editing that weaves the various perspectives and story lines, deconstructing a specific history and calling for consideration of the nature of documentary film. Considering the disturbing nature of the film, it will not be easy to watch; but it is an important commentary about how we interact with film.
To learn more about this film and buy tickets, please visit Silverdocs.com.