Thursday 17 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · A Film Unfinished

A Film Unfinished

Starkly illustrates both the duplicity and unflinching honesty of cinema

Phil Bacharach May 4th, 2011

The camera doesn’t lie — except, of course, when it does.


“A Film Unfinished,” screening Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, starkly illustrates both the duplicity and unflinching honesty of cinema. The harrowing documentary has a more urgent purpose, however, as it details the evil of the Holocaust.

At its center is an unfinished work of Nazi propaganda chronicling life in the Warsaw Ghetto. Shot in May 1942, the footage remains something of a mystery. It was discovered in an underground vault after World War II, and its seemingly disparate episodes appear to tell different versions of truth. The Nazi filmmakers stage a number of scenes of luxurious living to disguise the reality, in which nearly half a million Jews were forced into a three-square-mile slum and essentially left to die of starvation and typhus.

At other times, however, the horrific truth is front and center: grossly malnourished people; ramshackle buildings dissolving in hills of feces and refuse; skeletal corpses littering sidewalks. “A Film Unfinished” is a brutal glimpse into what European Jews faced even before their slaughter in Hitler’s concentration camps.

Director Yael Hersonski juxtaposes episodes from the incomplete work with accounts taken from the diary of Adam Czerniaków, who led the Jewish council that ostensibly governed the ghetto. The emerging picture is beyond haunting, as Czerniaków’s written words provide context to the farcical scenes staged by the Nazis for the camera’s benefit.

Equally effective are the recollections of Warsaw Ghetto survivors as they watch the flickering images of the nightmare they lived. These eyewitnesses are also a jarring reminder that the twisted evil of the Nazis existed not so long ago. That fact remains nearly unfathomable — no matter how many movies and books depict the Holocaust.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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