17 user 57 critic

A Film Unfinished (2010)

Shtikat haarchion (original title)
Unrated | | Documentary, Drama, History | 2010 (Israel)
2:10 | Trailer
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.


Yael Hersonski


Yael Hersonski
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


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


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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


Features Warsaw Ghetto (1942) See more »

User Reviews

Does this mean Capitalist Jews were Nazi collaborators?
29 December 2017 | by nadejdakuznetzovaSee all my reviews

"A Film Unfinished" - film by Yael Hersonski. Why "A Film Unfinished" & why credit it to Yael Hersonski? It was perhaps perfectly finished already! Old Chinese proverb: A picture tells a thousand words! This is basically a silent movie - i.e. without words, but it needs no words! With scathing, hateful looks & gestures, privileged persons glare at starving, sick/dying, traumatised children & young & old women & men who have somehow become entangled against their will, within a horrendous environment - interloping into the "precious" lives of the privileged. Whoever made this documentary obviously wished to expose Capitalism - with the obscenity & depravity of wealth, glowing physical beauty & health vs Poverty - with the depraved & deprived extreme social exclusion & powerlessness of lower status. Extreme sadness! But this projection cannot be faked! Not even in Hollywood! While film maker, Yael Hersonski suggests this documentary was for Nazi Propaganda Machine in 1942, I suggest this documentary was made by persons who wished to expose truths - not falsity of propaganda! Who would agree to expose themselves as "capitalist pigs" for the Nazi war machine? Were they also Nazis or Jewish collaborators? Or simply stupid people who really did think they were superior to poor masses? This is the basic understanding of capitalism & accordingly, is no crime. The opposite view is to understand Jesus, Mohammed, Marx & Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Castro, Chavez, etc., etc., etc. I think "A Film Unfinished" was perhaps originally assembled perfectly to defy capitalism in all its degrees .... to expose its depraved power & how it suffocates the poor! But in reality, capitalists ultimately are big-time losers! While the poor physically die in extreme pain & sadness, the rich die - sooner or later - also ... but in extreme mental & soul-strangling torment. Nazis were expert in capitalist tacts! Initially practising euthanasia, they quickly moved to obvious murder - striking against anyone & everyone - rich or poor - like insane creatures! And this is the message of this film! These insanity has no particular ethnicity & is non-discriminatory! While the film's female commentators recall their personal hygiene during the Holocaust, they nevertheless couldn't spare a mouldy crust of bred for an orphaned beggar child who scrounged through filthy faecal/excrement heaps in the streets for sustenance! So who is the Nazi? So humanity behaves humanely towards the vulnerable/powerless! If this is capitalism, I choose communism/socialism - whichever is appropriate to the situation! - extreme or mundane. Actually in this film, one sees German soldiers standing idly by watching the privileged Jews deliberately averting their gaze from the "ugliness of the poor". Do the German soldiers, watching from the sidelines, recognise themselves in the ugly capitalist creatures who in their disdain of the poor, hasten their inevitable fate. Close ups of the film show individual victims of holocaust (viewings of every angle of their shaven heads) - defenceless in their diminishing dignity & pride but nevertheless with underlying defiance. They appear stoically beautiful! In stark contrast, the rich privileged capitalists are perversely ugly despite their obvious wealth! I'm not a believer in conventional god but i understand Escher's "Scapegoat" analogy of God & Satan. Furthermore there were more than Nazi hands that "rocked the cradle"! These are the hypocrites!

1 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



Germany | Israel


German | Hebrew | Yiddish | Polish | English

Release Date:

2010 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

A Film Unfinished See more »

Filming Locations:

Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,060, 22 August 2010

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed