A Film Unfinished

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Shtikat Haarchion
  • Cast:Hanna Avrutzki, Alexander Beyer, Rüdiger Vogler
  • Release Date:November 17, 2011
  • Distributor:Accent
  • The Film:4.0

“...a grim, harrowing document of propagandist filmmaking.”

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The debut feature from Israeli writer/director Yael Hersonski takes the road less travelled when it comes to Holocaust documentaries - rather than portraying the horrific end result of Adolf Hitler's Final Solution, Hersonski's film focuses on its foreboding prelude. Discovered years after WWII in a German bunker, half-made propaganda piece The Ghetto (the titular unfinished film) depicts the Jewish slum of Warsaw circa 1942, where its residents were coerced by Nazi filmmakers to act in staged representations of ‘Jewish life'.

Hersonski's dissection of the incomplete documentary is intriguing - in addition to the grainy images of the slum, the young director assembles an impressive cast of interviewees, from tearful Ghetto survivors to Willy Wist, a Third Reich cameraman. Although littered with typical Holocaust tropes - mass graves, Nazi cruelty, the gaunt, skeletal faces of starving Jews - A Film Unfinished is a thought-provoking effort from Hersonski, and a grim, harrowing document of propagandist filmmaking.

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