Documentary dispels Nazi propaganda

A stunning new documentary goes into limited release today, taking a different and absorbing look at the Holocaust. Dubbed A Film Unfinished, the piece, from Israeli director Yael Hersonski, revolves around a never-completed German propaganda film called “Das Ghetto.” Shot in 1942, the silent film contrasted Jews living in luxury in the Warsaw ghetto, with the poor ones in the street. For years, it was seen as flawed but authentic—until new footage uncovered in 1998 revealed that all the scenes showing privileged Jews were staged.

Hersonski’s film examines “Das Ghetto” reel-by-reel. She interviews one cameraman, and reads from diaries of the ghetto’s residents. In one scene, she shows the film to survivors of the ghetto, and films their horrified reactions. Critics are predictably wild about the project. It’s “remarkable as much for its speculative restraint as for its philosophical reach,” marvels Jeannette Catsoulis of the New York Times, while Lisa Schwarzbaum of EW applauds Hersonski for her exacting research, which “is its own tribute to those no longer able to testify.”

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Posted by on August 19, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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12 Responses to Documentary dispels Nazi propaganda

  1. A Michael J. Scott

    August 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

    The Nazi’s were masters of deception. They made hundreds of films depicting life in Germany as rosy for all, especially the Jews.

  2. Holte Ender

    August 19, 2010 at 10:39 am

    The Nazis used the media brilliantly to further their cause, they are still using it.

  3. Randal Graves

    August 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

    You all just made Pat Buchanan cry.

  4. Dear Maddy

    August 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    If the Nazi’s had a front man like Glenn Beck, I wonder what the result might have been?

  5. Krell

    August 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    One of these days I would like to do a post about Leni Riefenstahl. Although she only made about 8 films, her most famous was a propaganda film “Triumph of the Will”.

    Although her subject matter was repellent, she is considered by many to be the greatest female filmmaker of the 20th century.

  6. Stella by Starlight

    August 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I can think of few more apt comparisons than that of Che ney and Hitler. Both have/had brilliant minds, and both used propoganda brilliantly to distract the public from the evils they and their followers perpetuated on society. Hitler used the Jews as scapegoats ~ Cheney used the Muslims. Evil, amoral individuals, including those in powerful positions at multinationals, are the most dangerous people ~ even more so so than fanatics of all stripes who are merely duped. I am still firmly convinced that Obama should have indicted Cheney, et al., for war crimes and treason. In failing to do so, I wonder whethe his failure to do so opened the door for more war profiteers. Of course, many uninformed people compare those whom they consider evil to Hitler. However, his absolute control over the media parallels our society, which attempts to censor the net and all non-mainstream opinions. Just like Hitler. Pardon typos… I am commenting via cell…

  7. Gwendolyn H. Barry

    August 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Bravo. Looks like a good movie to see.

  8. A Michael J. Scott

    August 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Well it’s not really a movie 🙂

  9. The Lawyer

    August 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Somebody might have already commented to this point, but gosh, manufacturing a little truth to support an ideology–who the hell does that sound like? Let’s see, it rhymes with lox screws.