Sunday, June 19, 2011

A FILM UNFINISHED

A FILM UNFINISHED is a documentary about a propaganda film created by the Nazis but until recently had not been seen.

The footage from the Nazi film was all shot inside the Warsaw ghetto. Some of it showed the reality of the poverty and starvation that was going on, while other footage is completely staged to reinforce the stereotype of wealthy Jews. The film was never completed and was in storage for decades, and even when it was uncovered, no one really knew what it was, until some researchers started putting the pieces together.

The biggest piece of information was a journal from a Jewish leader at the time who corroborated that much of the footage was staged. There is also an interview with one of the cameramen, as well as new footage of ghetto survivors watching the film. Amazingly, they recognize some of the people in the film.

This is a very difficult film to watch. Although I knew life in the ghetto was bad, I had no idea how bad the starvation was. But on a deeper level, this film points out how easy it is to manipulate an image to tell the story you want to tell. The Nazi propaganda machine is infamous, but I have to worry just how much of what we see today is equally propagandist. I suggest it is much, much worse than most people realize. It's depressing to see what happened to these people.

The film is available on Netflix.
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