Film Review: ‘A Film Unfinished’ Explores the Complexity of Imagery

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CHICAGO – The power of a single image is often far greater than any amount of written words. In a culture as visually over-saturated as our own, it’s so easy to take images for granted. Our days are too hectic, and our minds are too cluttered to view every piece of footage filtered down to us from the mainstream media with the same critical eye and healthy dose of skepticism.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Similarly, many moviegoers don’t have the luxury to discern between a good film and a mediocre one when catching a movie on a Saturday night. That’s why it’s the job of critics to look behind the moving image and investigate its complexities, its meaning, its relevance and its inherent worth. “A Film Unfinished” is, among other things, an accomplished and essential work of critical analysis, deconstructing one of the most notorious and misinterpreted pieces of archival footage ever unearthed. It carries the remnants of an aborted film project that was destined to be the largest Nazi propaganda picture ever made.

StarRead Matt Fagerholm’s full review of “A Film Unfinished” in our reviews section.

For her feature film debut, writer/director Yael Hersonski set her sights on exploring the 62 minutes of raw silent footage that was shot inside the Warsaw Ghetto in May of 1942. It was meant to be part of an uncompleted film titled, “The Ghetto,” though almost no information about its makers has ever been found. What has been discovered are multiple diary entries from people who were present during the filming, and Hersonski expertly juxtaposes their revealing words with the appalling imagery, providing an insightful running commentary for the mystifying events flickering on the screen. We hear from the ghetto commissioner, Heinz Auerswald, whose neatly typed formal reports are chilling portraits of the passivity of evil. He laments about the “lack of cooperation” among prisoners to participate in a film project aiming to not only misrepresent their suffering, but also to justify their own extinction.

‘A Film Unfinished’ was written and directed by Yael Hersonski. It opened on Oct. 1 at the Landmark’s Renaissance Place Cinema. It is not rated.

StarContinue reading for Matt Fagerholm’s full “A Film Unfinished” review.

Filmmaker Yael Hersonski deconstructs fragments of what would have been the largest Nazi propaganda picture ever made in A Film Unfinished.
Filmmaker Yael Hersonski deconstructs fragments of what would have been the largest Nazi propaganda picture ever made in A Film Unfinished.
Photo credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

David Smith's picture

Unfinished

This film is very intersting!

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