Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful.
A chilling, but worthwhile historical film
By R. Klein
This film is a documentary based upon footage taken by the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto during May of 1942. As noted by the title, the intended work was never completed, and lay for decades hidden in film cans in a secret storage bunker. It shows both the poverty and degradation of those forced into the ghetto, and staged propaganda footage meant to demonstrate a parallel, luxurious life enjoyed by some, at the apparent expense of others. Some of the scenes are repeated, slightly varied, demonstrating the staged nature of those scenes.
What is special, and moving about this documentary is that a few individuals who survived the ghetto are shown watching and commenting on the scenes, and their recollections of the filming taking place. In some moments, we see the images on the screen. In others, we see the flickering reflection of the projected images on the glasses of people watching and remembering the horror and the truth and the ghetto.
The great irony of this film is that footage originally intended to demonstrate the sub-human status of the Jews forced into the ghetto ultimately serves as a document of the inhumanity of the Nazi's themselves , and their own moral decrepitude, the result of hatred and power combined into a sickness of mind and society never equaled in human history.
The film is well made. The original footage was silent. A Film Unfinished adds well narrated commentary and description, and just enough background sound effect to support the silent images flickering on the screen. The sole cameraman who was traced talks, in recorded testimony taken years earlier, that the purpose of the film was never told to him. But the filming designed to show the extreme differences between rich and poor certainly suggested to him that its sole purpose was propaganda. It seems highly unlikely that footage of a woman applying lipstick and smoking a cigarette in front of a vanity mirror could have been filmed without some purpose - and given the circumstances, propaganda (at which the Nazis were masters) is quite likely.
It's a chilling, and moving film. Very well put together, well narrated. Scenes are juxtaposed with narratives created by German reports filed to Berlin about the ghetto, and comments and recollections by the survivors viewing the silent footage.
While the original intent may have been to demonstrate the depravity of the Jews crammed into the Warsaw Ghetto, to me, it is, instead, an example of the gross depravity of the Nazis who intended to make this final film, probably in an effort to justify their Final Solution.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
By Imani Payne
It just shows the brutal reality the Jews had to endure. It was harder to watch some scenes but I couldn't turn my eyes away because I felt what was being filmed, no matter how bad it was, had to be seen so the victims will never be forgotten in some sense. It's powerful and depressing but very educational.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful. See all 78 customer reviews...
A very precise picture of a enormous human tragedy. ...
A very precise picture of a enormous human tragedy. Should be seen by everyone to avoid any ideology that may favor it to happen again.