Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

A Film Unfinished

A Film Unfinished

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 18, 2010 Released by: Oscilloscope

Yael Hersonski's A Film Unfinished is a combination of a hour-long Nazi propaganda film and fictional sequences as Nazis were accompanied by Jewish police in 1942.
Said film remained untouched in an East German archive vault by its ministry. What Hersonski  has decided to undertake is something remarkable, even controversial that may be an incisive commentary on perception of anti-Semitism, even about feelings toward the low-class and oppressed.

In this account, one notices the importance of preserving the 1000-year Reich, giving some detail to the major Polish city under Nazi occupation. Willy Wist's lenses the raw footage of life in the walled sector, where Jews were temporarily confined to flats prior to transit to crematoria and gas chambers.
His later testimony manifested his surprise of what would become of so many, as part of his material leads one to believe that Jews weren't treated badly. Some of the inserted scenes include nattily-attired folks in swank digs, others dancing, drinking and socializing in a posh bistro or an audience at a theatre required to bellow with laughter. There's even a luxurious funeral procession.
What may bother some about something mainly harrowing from what is depicted through the narration (a no-no to bring in food with spread of disease and malnutrition with corpses on the sidewalks) is the disparity between the everyday and the increasingly calamitous. Some may think that Nazis thought Jewish customs were abnormal and/or at least from their appearance (without means to procure food) they deserved their end at a place like Treblinka. Being so interpretative from the made-up portions and those of the emaciated may be more detrimental than incisive.
Part of the difficult of putting poignant polish on this project was its incompletion, as the propaganda folks wisest up to the fact that no demographic existed for this sort of fare, even with no physical torture. One gets a certain amount feeling in A Film of its bypassed, famished residents and the imperfect efforts of perpetrators of the graphic horrors and cruel indifference that sadly existed. Even if its truest form of expression may be recorded in an unfinished way.

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