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A Film Unfinished

 Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.40
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Using Footage Completely Unparalleled, A Film Unfinished Provides New Insight Into The Nazi Propaganda Machine, Further Exposing An Agenda Already Known To Be Deceitful Beyond Our Greatest Beliefs. At The End Of Wwii, 60 Minutes Of Raw Film, Having Sat Undisturbed In An East German Archive, Was Discovered. Shot By The Nazis In Warsaw In May 1942 And Labeled Simply "Ghetto," This Footage Quickly Became A Resource For Historians Seeking An Authentic Record Of The Warsaw Ghetto. However, The Later Discovery Of A Long-Missing Reel, Including Multiple Takes And Cameramen Staging Scenes, Complicated Earlier Readings Of The Footage. A Film Unfinished Presents The Raw Footage In Its Entirety, Carefully Noting Fictionalized Sequences (Including A Staged Dinner Party) Falsely Showing "The Good Life" Enjoyed By Jewish Urbanites, And Probing Deep Into The Making Of The Now-Infamous Nazi Propaganda Film. A Film Of Enormous Import, A Film Unfinished Documents Some Of The Worst Horrors Of Our Time And Exposes The Efforts Of Its Perpetrators To Propel Their Agenda And Cast It In A Favorable Light.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great watch, Feb. 18 2014
By M Smith
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is just amazing to watch another side of WW2 and the holocaust. Rather than watching in the eyes of the Jewish people and the nazi soldiers this film allows us to see in the eyes of common German people as well. Real footage shows propaganda at it's best and how the Nazi staged events and forced the Jewish prisoners of the Warsaw ghetto to act various scenes showing happiness (or the exact opposite). These faked videos were shown as an example in the "Boy in the Striped Pajamas" which is interesting to see the raw footage then an example of the finished product. I also recommend watching "The uprising" movie to get a little inside taste of the Warsaw ghetto so you can then understand this movie. If you are a history buff like myself this is a must buy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review May 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very disturbing but factual in depicting life in the Polish Ghetto. Devasting to see what happens when a human being loses its dignity and will to live.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film Unfinished June 18 2011
By WEM51
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A documentary unlike any other you might have seen, tackling a topic done many times before, but unlike any other that may have preceded it. A definite must see!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
149 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Film -- Utterly Unparalleled Jan. 6 2011
By Yaakov Ben Shalom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I saw this documentary in the move theater, and I thought it was incredible. It is a must-see for anyone interested in the Holocaust.

In 1942, the Nazis began making a documentary film about life in the Warsaw Ghetto. They captured the sheer horror and misery of daily life in the ghetto. But they also staged scenes to make the Jews look venal, corrupt, decadent, and cold-hearted. The Nazis would round up people on the street and make them gorge themselves at lavish feasts while beggars looked on. The Nazis made pedestrians walk over/past corpses lying on the sidewalk. The Nazis staged scenes of vamps preparing for a night out and nude co-ed bathing. The Nazis arranged a carefully choreographed meeting of Jewish Council chairman Adam Czerniakow and orthodox rabbis. It was all filmed for their documentary. But Nazis also filmed multiple takes of staged scenes and unfiltered images of daily life in the ghetto as it really was.

"A Film Unfinished" effectively shows the entire Nazi documentary as well as the outtakes. Moreover, the scenes from the Nazi documentary are juxtaposed with commentary from eyewitnesses who saw the filming or participated in it. They explain exactly what the Nazis were up to in staging and filming these scenes. As a result, the viewer sees still-shocking footage of life in the ghetto and gains insight into how the Nazis managed life in the ghetto to further degrade the Jews and to present them in an unfavorable light for propaganda purposes.

Because the Nazis' documentary was never fully edited and released, "A Film Unfinished" -- presenting the Nazis' film and historical commentary on it -- may be the most accurate cinemagraphic record of ghetto life.
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Documentary April 8 2011
By Michael P. Lefand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"A Film Unfinished" is a documentary of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 just prior to the Nazi's start of the "resettlement" of Jews from Warsaw to concentration camps and a "better life." This documentary by Yael Hersonski, is composed of raw footage found untouched in an East German archive after World War II with a simple label "Ghetto." "A Film Unfinished" is a powerful and moving historical account of how the Third Reich used staged scenes of Jews in Warsaw for propaganda purposes. The film's narration describes how the scenes were orchestrated by the Nazis, using the threat of beatings to coerce Jews to look shameless (forced mixed-sex nude bathing), callous (passing bodies on the street uncaringly), licentious (filming Jews enjoying lavish meals while they were actually starving), and as though life was acceptable and pleasurable in the ghetto.

Who could be fooled by this deception? Apparently many were because the Third Reich machinery was a master of propaganda and used many other edited films to vilify the Jew and hide the depravity they subjected them.

However, watch this film and look at the eyes of those being filmed. It is there that this raw footage reveals the anguish and terror felt by those being told how to appear before the camera. One can see the hopelessness as many of them stare at the cameras or off into an unknowable distance.

By including the multiple takes of many scenes from the raw footage, often with other Nazi cameramen inadvertently filmed, we can see the intentional deception being perpetrated.

Along with the narration the documentary has interspersed film clips of individuals who survived the Warsaw Ghetto of 1942. As they watch the survivors give comments on the horror from their past and the film. At times watching them is very painful. But then, their presence in this documentary gives tribute and significance to those who faced the dreadfulness of Nazism against the Jews.

This film is not only for those interested in the Holocaust, this is a film all humanity should view to see how propaganda has been and still can be used by the media or governments to deceive and sway citizens opinions to fit one's own need. Many of those on the film lost their lives latter at concentration and forced labor camps. This documentary shows we should not have short memories when it comes to history.
I recommend this DVD; everyone should view it no matter how many stars it receives and decide for themselves.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting Documentary March 7 2011
By The Movie Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"A Film Unfinished," a documentary by Yael Hersonski, features 60 minutes of raw film found undisturbed in an East German archive at the end of World War II.

Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May, 1942, and labeled simply as "Ghetto," this footage became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of a long-missing reel, including multiple takes and cameramen staging scenes, complicated earlier interpretations of the footage.

"A Film Unfinished" presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing "the good life" enjoyed by Jewish urbanites, and probing deep into the making of the infamous Nazi propaganda film.

Included are an interview with author/film researcher Adrian Wood and a study guide.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars factual, powerful, horrifying--and infuriating June 9 2011
By Matthew G. Sherwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
After World War Two ended, huge amounts of film were discovered which had been hidden away by The Nazis. Among these films was something of great importance--a film simply entitled "The Ghetto" filmed in May of 1942. It was never released by the Nazis but their intention was clear: they wanted to prove to the world that the Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto were actually living under "reasonable conditions." Some of the footage is not well preserved or restored; but it doesn't need to be restored in order to have a most powerful, horrifying and infuriating effect.

While the Nazis documented the horrific conditions of the ghetto; we also see how they had their cameramen stage elaborate events to make it appear that the conditions in the ghetto were tolerable when, of course, the truth was anything but that. For example, there is footage of what is actually a make-believe funeral procession; theater shows for which the "audience" had to laugh just right or they would be beaten by the Nazis; wealthy Jews ignoring impoverished children begging for just a tiny amount of money or just a slice of bread to eat--in this case, to demonstrate to the world that Jews were truly sub-humans who had neither heart nor soul. Other scenes included making Jews dispassionately walk over corpses as if nothing was wrong or disturbing about it and humiliating men and women by making them take a ritual bath together on film. There are even several different "takes" of many "scenes" so that the Nazis would capture just what they wanted to show on film!

In addition, we get commentaries from survivors watching the footage; obviously it has a tremendous impact on them. The flood of emotions they experience makes them cry and shut their eyes because it is so painful. We also learn about a cameraman, Willy Wist, who was assigned to film many of the "scenes" of "The Ghetto." The interview reenactments with Wist are enlightening and sobering at once.

The DVD comes with a few extras that are quite worthwhile. It's tough to take; but it's important to watch a short film directed by Billy Wilder entitled "Death Mills" in which Wilder exposes the horrors of the systematic Nazi killing machine. Michael Berenbaum offers additional commentary in another brief extra; and I the interview with author and film researcher Adrian Wood is informative.

Overall, "A Film Unfinished" is a must-have for anyone studying the Holocaust, World War Two or the evils of the Nazi regime. It's powerful and upsetting but the true story must be told; this documentary about what would have been a Nazi propaganda film is very well done.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't know whether to love it or hate it (not a 5 at all) Jan. 18 2012
By JJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Cons: When I first got this I think I was expecting somewhat more than what was here, I fully expected something a little more groundbreaking... I expected at least a detailed explanation of this film ie: some sound(none)on the original, More details with regards to interviews(few), then without more information from interviews it leaves a big hole wide enough to fall through... The lack of information here is severe, This is definitely a film unfinished (waiting for part 2 :( jk..) This is a nazi propaganda film unedited from it's creation but was also never used, whats it for? I'm not sure and it seems nobody else is, I would have loved to see what the nazis were using this for.. It could have been an ss training film to, whos to say it was a public propaganda film, it doesn't have that flair for the dramatical feel that you almost always see when you watch anything produced by the nazis....

Pros: On the upside you do see original footage from Warsaw that not many people have probably seen, it is as always good for someone to put out a film that shows the continuing hatred of the nazis.. As long as they put the film out there is a chance people won't forget the holocaust.. Even though the nazis are basically telling the jews what to do while filming, how to do it and with much of the same hatred ( just minus the public beatings or executions)..The jewish on this were forced to do whatever the nazis wanted so you see what they want you to see, it's a chilling depiction of the holocaust and to see it in this manner( well, it makes me glad to be an american and to have not lived through this)

In the end... It's a nice piece of history, you see raving people obviously pushed to the brink, you also get a view on what the ghetto was like for real people..Very rarely do you see the ghetto in this manner, usually it's during train arrivals or during nazi roundups..It was very disturbing to see the dead and decaying laying about in the street with people milling around them ( including children) like they aren't even there.. You see how depraved it was to live in the ghetto, I mean how can you get used to death so much that even a child could walk past a decaying corpse and act as if nothing is wrong.. It's chilling and very disturbing

This is not a film to buy if you are looking for entertainment or for the horrific executions on video that you would normally see in a holocaust film...
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