Although World War II ended in 1945, it still lives on the screens of cinema. For years, we've watched the war's struggles, victories, and devastation. Over half a century has passed, yet it's still burned deeply into our consciousness, so much so that it seems like we know it all. But then a documentary like A Film Unfinished comes along. Taking forgotten propaganda footage from the Warsaw Ghetto, Yael Hersonski has crafted a film that not only oozes a harsh reality never before seen, but also reveals the all-too-easy "cinematic deception" of film, reminding us that image doesn't necessarily equal truth.
On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, and by the end of the month, Warsaw fell. Under Nazi control the Ghetto was formed, a walled barrier keeping the city's Jewish population contained under terrible and deadly living conditions. Roughly two and a half years later, and shortly before hundreds of thousands of the area's residents were shipped to the Treblinka extermination camp, Nazi filmmakers entered the city to shoot a propaganda film simply titled, Ghetto.