Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Film Unfinished (2010)

Original title: Shtikat Haarchion

Director: Yael Hersonski

Writer: Yael Hersonski

Composer: Ishai Adar

Starring: Hanna Avrutzki, Luba Gewisser, Jurek Plonski, Aliza Vitis-Shomron, Shula Zeder, Janusz Hamerszmit, Eliezer Niborski, Alexander Senderovich, Mendy Cahan, Hava Alberstein, Gera Sandler, Axel Thielmann, Rona Kenan Rudiger Vogler, Alexander Beyer

More info: IMDB

Tagline: In 1942 The Nazi Propaganda Machine Was Hard at Work. 70 Years Later, The Deceit is Finally Unmasked

Plot:  A film about an unfinished film which portrays the people behind and before the camera in the Warsaw Ghetto, exposing the extent of the cinematic manipulation forever changing the way we look at historic images.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

Great film.  You get to see a good 45-60 minutes of the Warsaw Ghetto from 1942 that hasn't been publicly shown (mostly) and there's even some in color.  It's remarkable, devastating and horrible to see.  It's further punctuated by some commentary by survivors of that place and one of them is even in the footage which is extraordinary to witness as she sees it for the first time since.  The film is well put together in every aspect.  It seems like Holocaust documentaries are a dime a dozen but it's nice to see one that brings something more to the table and this one is quite specific in regards to the time and place.  It's essentially 30 days in May of '42, just a few months before a quarter of a million (nearly half the population of the ghetto) Jews were deported to Treblinka Concentration Camp and killed.  It's fascinating and horrific to see the Nazis staging scenes but even more so was just the random shots of the most poor and dying.  It's ghastly.  The Oscilloscope DVD is light on extras but it does offer an interview with Adrian Wood (14 minutes), an interview with Michael Berenbaum (3 minutes) (both of which are engaging and most informing), the 22 minute vintage film DEATH MILLS (directed by Billy Wilder) which can probably be seen for free on YouTube and trailers to 4 Oscilloscope pictures including this one.

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