Opening this Wednesday, August 18 in NYC and Friday, August 20 in LA before a national roll-out: A FILM UNFINISHED
Yael Hersonski’s acclaimed documentary had its world premiere in competition at Sundance this year, where it also claimed the World Cinema Documentary Editing Award. Oscilloscope picked up the film for theatrical release, and in the past few weeks generated quite a bit of press when the MPAA slapped an unwarranted R rating on the film due to graphic nudity, a ruling upheld even after a very public appeal.
The rating underscores the MPAA’s myopia, “protecting” younger teen viewers from seeing the horror of the Holocaust, which one could strongly argue they should be witnessing in the service of education and good conscience. Hersonski’s film reveals the story behind a Nazi propaganda film about the Warsaw ghetto which became an important source for Holocaust and Jewish history scholars after WWII. But, as Hersonski demonstrates, more recently discovered reels reveal the carefully orchestrated way the Nazis constructed their “documentary,” filming multiple takes in obviously staged scenes.
A FILM UNFINISHED lays bare this footage, reflecting on the power of the image and the question of documentary truth, while at the same time providing insight into the Third Reich’s propaganda machine.
indieWIRE profiles the film’s director here.