A Film Unfinished

Discovered by East German archivists after World War II and accepted for decades as one of the few visual documents of life inside the Warsaw Ghetto, a 1942 Nazi propaganda film about the ghetto — in which rich Jews were portrayed living the high life while ignoring or exploiting the suffering of the poor Jews — was revealed as manipulative distortion once a British film researcher uncovered a fifth reel of outtakes in 1998.

Filmmaker Yael Hersonski, the granddaughter of a Warsaw Ghetto survivor, rebuilt the rough cuts into A Film Unfinished, adding commentary from nine survivors, as well as excerpts from ghetto documents and testimony from the only identified Nazi cameraman on the project.

The most wrenching testimony comes from an elderly Israeli survivor of the ghetto who, watching the film, covers her eyes, then finds solace in that she has recovered enough humanity to find her past unbearable.

Categories: Movies