Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1942, more than two years after Nazi troops herded Poland's Jews into a ghetto in Warsaw, where they were to be held until they were sent to extermination camps, a handful of cameramen were sent into the ghetto to shoot material that was intended for a German propaganda film. The images they captured ran the gamut from blasé scenes of day-to-day life to horrific moments of death and despair. The film was never completed, but after the war, the unedited footage, running roughly an hour, was discovered in a German archive. Yael Hersonski's documentary Shtikat Haarchion (aka A Film Unfinished) presents the surviving footage of the Warsaw ghetto in full for the first time; along with the archival images, Hersonski includes interviews with five survivors of the ghetto, who talk about what was captured on film and their lives under the Nazis, as well as a member of the camera crew who offers a perspective on the original intended slant of the film (which was, at least in part, meant to reveal the class differences between Jews of different economic status). A Film Unfinished received its world premiere at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.
film, ghetto, Jewish, Nazi, propaganda