Customer Reviews

38
4.6 out of 5 stars
A Film Unfinished
Format: DVDChange
Price:$9.67 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

160 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I saw this documentary in the move theater, and I thought it was incredible. It is a must-see for anyone interested in the Holocaust.

In 1942, the Nazis began making a documentary film about life in the Warsaw Ghetto. They captured the sheer horror and misery of daily life in the ghetto. But they also staged scenes to make the Jews look venal, corrupt, decadent, and cold-hearted. The Nazis would round up people on the street and make them gorge themselves at lavish feasts while beggars looked on. The Nazis made pedestrians walk over/past corpses lying on the sidewalk. The Nazis staged scenes of vamps preparing for a night out and nude co-ed bathing. The Nazis arranged a carefully choreographed meeting of Jewish Council chairman Adam Czerniakow and orthodox rabbis. It was all filmed for their documentary. But Nazis also filmed multiple takes of staged scenes and unfiltered images of daily life in the ghetto as it really was.

"A Film Unfinished" effectively shows the entire Nazi documentary as well as the outtakes. Moreover, the scenes from the Nazi documentary are juxtaposed with commentary from eyewitnesses who saw the filming or participated in it. They explain exactly what the Nazis were up to in staging and filming these scenes. As a result, the viewer sees still-shocking footage of life in the ghetto and gains insight into how the Nazis managed life in the ghetto to further degrade the Jews and to present them in an unfavorable light for propaganda purposes.

Because the Nazis' documentary was never fully edited and released, "A Film Unfinished" -- presenting the Nazis' film and historical commentary on it -- may be the most accurate cinemagraphic record of ghetto life.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 8, 2011
Format: DVD
"A Film Unfinished" is a documentary of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942 just prior to the Nazi's start of the "resettlement" of Jews from Warsaw to concentration camps and a "better life." This documentary by Yael Hersonski, is composed of raw footage found untouched in an East German archive after World War II with a simple label "Ghetto." "A Film Unfinished" is a powerful and moving historical account of how the Third Reich used staged scenes of Jews in Warsaw for propaganda purposes. The film's narration describes how the scenes were orchestrated by the Nazis, using the threat of beatings to coerce Jews to look shameless (forced mixed-sex nude bathing), callous (passing bodies on the street uncaringly), licentious (filming Jews enjoying lavish meals while they were actually starving), and as though life was acceptable and pleasurable in the ghetto.

Who could be fooled by this deception? Apparently many were because the Third Reich machinery was a master of propaganda and used many other edited films to vilify the Jew and hide the depravity they subjected them.

However, watch this film and look at the eyes of those being filmed. It is there that this raw footage reveals the anguish and terror felt by those being told how to appear before the camera. One can see the hopelessness as many of them stare at the cameras or off into an unknowable distance.

By including the multiple takes of many scenes from the raw footage, often with other Nazi cameramen inadvertently filmed, we can see the intentional deception being perpetrated.

Along with the narration the documentary has interspersed film clips of individuals who survived the Warsaw Ghetto of 1942. As they watch the survivors give comments on the horror from their past and the film. At times watching them is very painful. But then, their presence in this documentary gives tribute and significance to those who faced the dreadfulness of Nazism against the Jews.

This film is not only for those interested in the Holocaust, this is a film all humanity should view to see how propaganda has been and still can be used by the media or governments to deceive and sway citizens opinions to fit one's own need. Many of those on the film lost their lives latter at concentration and forced labor camps. This documentary shows we should not have short memories when it comes to history.
I recommend this DVD; everyone should view it no matter how many stars it receives and decide for themselves.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
"A Film Unfinished," a documentary by Yael Hersonski, features 60 minutes of raw film found undisturbed in an East German archive at the end of World War II.

Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May, 1942, and labeled simply as "Ghetto," this footage became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of a long-missing reel, including multiple takes and cameramen staging scenes, complicated earlier interpretations of the footage.

"A Film Unfinished" presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing "the good life" enjoyed by Jewish urbanites, and probing deep into the making of the infamous Nazi propaganda film.

Included are an interview with author/film researcher Adrian Wood and a study guide.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
After World War Two ended, huge amounts of film were discovered which had been hidden away by The Nazis. Among these films was something of great importance--a film simply entitled "The Ghetto" filmed in May of 1942. It was never released by the Nazis but their intention was clear: they wanted to prove to the world that the Jews imprisoned in the Warsaw ghetto were actually living under "reasonable conditions." Some of the footage is not well preserved or restored; but it doesn't need to be restored in order to have a most powerful, horrifying and infuriating effect.

While the Nazis documented the horrific conditions of the ghetto; we also see how they had their cameramen stage elaborate events to make it appear that the conditions in the ghetto were tolerable when, of course, the truth was anything but that. For example, there is footage of what is actually a make-believe funeral procession; theater shows for which the "audience" had to laugh just right or they would be beaten by the Nazis; wealthy Jews ignoring impoverished children begging for just a tiny amount of money or just a slice of bread to eat--in this case, to demonstrate to the world that Jews were truly sub-humans who had neither heart nor soul. Other scenes included making Jews dispassionately walk over corpses as if nothing was wrong or disturbing about it and humiliating men and women by making them take a ritual bath together on film. There are even several different "takes" of many "scenes" so that the Nazis would capture just what they wanted to show on film!

In addition, we get commentaries from survivors watching the footage; obviously it has a tremendous impact on them. The flood of emotions they experience makes them cry and shut their eyes because it is so painful. We also learn about a cameraman, Willy Wist, who was assigned to film many of the "scenes" of "The Ghetto." The interview reenactments with Wist are enlightening and sobering at once.

The DVD comes with a few extras that are quite worthwhile. It's tough to take; but it's important to watch a short film directed by Billy Wilder entitled "Death Mills" in which Wilder exposes the horrors of the systematic Nazi killing machine. Michael Berenbaum offers additional commentary in another brief extra; and I the interview with author and film researcher Adrian Wood is informative.

Overall, "A Film Unfinished" is a must-have for anyone studying the Holocaust, World War Two or the evils of the Nazi regime. It's powerful and upsetting but the true story must be told; this documentary about what would have been a Nazi propaganda film is very well done.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2012
Format: DVD
**Some Spoilers**
I really don't understand people who trash this film or any film dealing with the holocaust. I am indeed well aware that NOT only Jewish people suffered at the hands of that Ape escaped from a zoo known as Hitler but most of the comments I've read are reeking with antisemitism. Perhaps they wanted to see the Jews being deported on their way to death camps like Treblinka, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen. That wasn't a movie set, those weren't actors playing a part. Sadly, that was the REAL DEAL and it broke my heart to see all those corpses of mostly children on the streets. The scene of the grave sight was just too much to bear. I didn't sleep for two days because of this film and I couldn't care less if someone thinks that's being over dramatic. If being human and not some HEARTLESS Wench or Jerk is being over dramatic than I'm proud to be that way. This isn't something I would watch again, not because it's bad which it isn't, but because it left me emotionally distraught for a couple of days. The question that kept racing to my mind was; Where was God when all this happened or WHY did it have to happen.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2011
Format: DVD
this film is most profound when it shows only the moving images of life in the Warsaw ghetto. the narration allows insight into what the people were thinking--both those who lived in the ghetto and those who filmed the reels of propaganda.

but the faces of the children, women and men who inhabited this place tell the story best of all.

we are witness to a historical document, no matter how deceptive the original intent, of how human beings were placed in horrific circumstances beyond our imagination and yet tried their best to maintain their dignity and will to live.

the American war department film, Death Mills, is worthy in its own right. it gives a glimpse into the aftermath of the concentration camps and the toll on its captives. it is hard to watch, but it speaks in its own way to the value and sanctity of human life.

the holocaust is truly a story that must never be finished.

if you are interested in learning more about the holocaust, i strongly recommend a visit to the holocaust museum in Washington D.C. it is one of the most profound and respectful museums i have ever been to.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2012
Format: DVD
Cons: When I first got this I think I was expecting somewhat more than what was here, I fully expected something a little more groundbreaking... I expected at least a detailed explanation of this film ie: some sound(none)on the original, More details with regards to interviews(few), then without more information from interviews it leaves a big hole wide enough to fall through... The lack of information here is severe, This is definitely a film unfinished (waiting for part 2 :( jk..) This is a nazi propaganda film unedited from it's creation but was also never used, whats it for? I'm not sure and it seems nobody else is, I would have loved to see what the nazis were using this for.. It could have been an ss training film to, whos to say it was a public propaganda film, it doesn't have that flair for the dramatical feel that you almost always see when you watch anything produced by the nazis....

Pros: On the upside you do see original footage from Warsaw that not many people have probably seen, it is as always good for someone to put out a film that shows the continuing hatred of the nazis.. As long as they put the film out there is a chance people won't forget the holocaust.. Even though the nazis are basically telling the jews what to do while filming, how to do it and with much of the same hatred ( just minus the public beatings or executions)..The jewish on this were forced to do whatever the nazis wanted so you see what they want you to see, it's a chilling depiction of the holocaust and to see it in this manner( well, it makes me glad to be an american and to have not lived through this)

In the end... It's a nice piece of history, you see raving people obviously pushed to the brink, you also get a view on what the ghetto was like for real people..Very rarely do you see the ghetto in this manner, usually it's during train arrivals or during nazi roundups..It was very disturbing to see the dead and decaying laying about in the street with people milling around them ( including children) like they aren't even there.. You see how depraved it was to live in the ghetto, I mean how can you get used to death so much that even a child could walk past a decaying corpse and act as if nothing is wrong.. It's chilling and very disturbing

This is not a film to buy if you are looking for entertainment or for the horrific executions on video that you would normally see in a holocaust film...
Comment
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I enjoyed watching this sad story of the treatment of the Jews. It showed that one must always resist Evil no matter what the cost to your personal freedoms. Otherwise your Doomed.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2011
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was somewhat skeptical when I received Amazon's suggestion of this film for me, but having seen it, I highly recommend it. Since it was originally produced for the Propaganda Ministry but never shown (having lingered in an East German archive during the Cold War) the commentary as well as eyewitness accounts do an excellent job in placing the original footage remnants in proper context. With its original footage, it gives the viewer a glimpse into life in the Warsaw Ghetto, including the levels of complicity and coercion of its perpetrators and vicitms. In short, for anyone who has an interest in this history as well as professionals in the field, this film is an important addition to the overall knowledge and understanding the events surrounding the development of the Holocaust.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
Format: DVD
In "A Film Unfinished" footage from an unreleased Nazi propaganda documentary provides a macabre view of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942. The Germans delight in contrasting the misery of the poor Jewish inhabitants with the more priviledged. Malnourished, unattractive Jews are sinisterly presented as spectacle. Jewish religious practices are exhibited as grotesque superstitions. Director Yael Hersonski countervails this devilish perspective with interviews of ghetto survivors along with dramatization of the testimony of one of the filmmakers. Viewers will be haunted by the knowledge that within only months of the completion of filming, the vast majority of Jews seen in the documentary will be transported to Treblinka and put to death. "A Film Unfinished" is an extremely valuable witness to the depravity of Nazi Germany.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Frontline - Memory of the Camps
Frontline - Memory of the Camps by Frontline (DVD - 2005)
$14.48

Third Reich: Rise & Fall
Third Reich: Rise & Fall by The Third Reich (DVD - 2011)
$6.59

Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection)
Night and Fog (The Criterion Collection) by Michel Bouquet (DVD - 2003)
$10.16
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.