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A Film Unfinished (2010)

Shtikat Haarchion (original title)
Unrated | | Documentary, Drama, History | 2010 (Israel)
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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.

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5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hanna Avrutzki ...
Herself - Witness
Luba Gewisser ...
Herself - Witness
Jurek Plonski ...
Himself - Witness (as Jurek 'David' Plonski)
Aliza Vitis-Shomron ...
Herself - Witness
Shula Zeder ...
Herself - Witness
Janusz Hamerszmit ...
Adam Czerniakow (voice)
Eliezer Niborski ...
Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum (voice)
...
Chaim Kaplan / Ben Shem (voice)
Mendy Cahan ...
Abraham Lewin / Hersh Waser (voice)
...
Rachel Auerbach (voice) (as Hava Alberstein)
Gera Sandler ...
Jonas Turkow (voice)
Axel Thielmann ...
Auerswald (voice)
...
Narrator (voice)
...
Willy Wist
...
Interrogator
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Storyline

Yael Hersonski's powerful documentary achieves a remarkable feat through its penetrating look at another film-the now-infamous Nazi-produced film about the Warsaw Ghetto. Discovered after the war, the unfinished work, with no soundtrack, quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record, despite its elaborate propagandistic construction. The later discovery of a long-missing reel complicated earlier readings, showing the manipulations of camera crews in these "everyday" scenes. Well-heeled Jews attending elegant dinners and theatricals (while callously stepping over the dead bodies of compatriots) now appeared as unwilling, but complicit, actors, alternately fearful and in denial of their looming fate. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

2010 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

A Film Unfinished  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,060 (USA) (22 August 2010)

Gross:

$311,542 (USA) (14 November 2010)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The black & white footage was shot during May 1942. See more »

Connections

Features Warsaw Ghetto (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A heartbreaking look at Nazi inhumanity and manipulation
16 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It was with great pleasure that I was able to attend a screening of Yael Hersonski's A Film Unfinished (2010) this past Sunday afternoon at the documentary film festival. However, this pleasure was followed up by immediate sadness, as this film is not exactly one to lift your spirits. This documentary exposes discovered footage of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 that was later found in a buried East German archive with a simple name attached, 'Ghetto'. The original implications of this lost footage are unclear as it captured the true disgust of the harsh, cramped living conditions, the unsanitary environment, and the famished people within it, while ambiguously presenting staged scenes of Jewish people enjoying a 'comfortable' life in the ghetto—dining in restaurants, wearing clean clothes and fine jewelry, enjoying the privacy of their spacious living facilities, sanitary circumcisions, and proper funerals. It almost seemed as if the Nazi filmmaker's original intent was to present a sort of social or cultural dichotomy within the ghetto. Perhaps a piece of propaganda meant to make people believe the ghettos were acceptable forms of alternative housing—a kind of paradise, but the Jews were the ones who made them unsatisfactory. I found the images within this film to be absolutely haunting. The piercing eyes of these victims as they break the fourth wall, and stare straight back at you will leave you with an unsettling feeling that will linger within you for hours, even after the film's end. Looking into the sorrowful eyes of these victims is a guaranteed way to make you feel extremely privileged. A Film Unfinished is a heartbreaking look at Nazi inhumanity and manipulation. It is a piece of evidence that will forever represent one of the most tragic events in history.


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