A Film Unfinished
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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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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.
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.
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.
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.
I really don't understand people who trash this film or any film dealing with the holocaust. I am indeed well aware that NOT only Jewish people suffered at the hands of that Ape escaped from a zoo known as Hitler but most of the comments I've read are reeking with antisemitism. Perhaps they wanted to see the Jews being deported on their way to death camps like Treblinka, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen. That wasn't a movie set, those weren't actors playing a part. Sadly, that was the REAL DEAL and it broke my heart to see all those corpses of mostly children on the streets. The scene of the grave sight was just too much to bear. I didn't sleep for two days because of this film and I couldn't care less if someone thinks that's being over dramatic. If being human and not some HEARTLESS Wench or Jerk is being over dramatic than I'm proud to be that way. This isn't something I would watch again, not because it's bad which it isn't, but because it left me emotionally distraught for a couple of days. The question that kept racing to my mind was; Where was God when all this happened or WHY did it have to happen.