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Russell Thayer Professor Neubuger English Comp. 102 7 March 2012 Essay Response A Film Unfinished A Film Unfinished is a reexamination of an incomplete Nazi propaganda film primarily produced within the confines of the Warsaw Ghetto. What may have been yet another archival footage treatment on the Holocaust turns out to be a poignant analysis that transcends this recurring genre theme, and reveals the delicate manner in which media can be manipulated to alter our perceptions. Examples of Reich film distorting reality within the Jewish Ghetto are replete throughout the film. Consider the scene in which a Reich film crew orders a Jewish woman to prance smugly amongst a gang of impoverished Jewish children, ignoring their attempts to gain her attention. She is forced to maintain a sour, elitist demeanor, and a fanciful wardrobe is provided for her to ensure that she looked the part. Even the band of ragged children is forced to play a preconceived role, as they are instructed to follow the woman intently with their hands extended in a gesture of begging. One need not look any further to discover the true origins of the greedy, Jewish banker clich. There are other moments in the film, equally as falsified, that Jewish families living in the Warsaw Ghetto were forced to congregate around Reich camera crews and smile happily, dress in extravagant clothing, ride luxury carriages, or sit in a local restaurant and order expensive, multi-course meals. These types of staged fabrications only served to function as a societal catalyst for the anti-Semitism in which German was already immersed.

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The mind-numbing expose on Reich propaganda aside, the film does not give much new information with respect to the holocaust in general, only snippets of survivor testimonies and the occasional execution footage, but in abstaining from endless reels of violence and genocidal monstrosity, the film has found a higher purpose. We are no longer only shocked and disturbed by the violence and inhumanity inherent in such an endeavor; that is now a given. The viewer must now contend with the equally disturbing revelation that the human mind is, and can only be, a product of its environment, whether culturally induced, or covertly propagandized.