Tuesday 29 Jul
 
 

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · A Film Unfinished
Documentary
 

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.

 
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