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.
“A Film Unfinished first emerged out of my theoretical preoccupation with the notion of the “archive”, and the unique nature of the witnessing it bears.” – Yael Hersonski
The Holocaust confronted humanity not only with inconceivable horrors, but also for the first time, with their systematic documentation. More than anything else, it is the photographic documentation of these horrors that has changed forever the way in which the past is archived. Atrocities committed by the Nazis were photographed more extensively than any evils, before or after. Yet since the war, these images, created by the perpetrators have been subjected to mistreatments: in the best of cases they were crudely used as illustrations of the many stories; in the worst, they were presented as straightforward historical truth.
Via A Film Unfinished