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Three Minutes a Lengthening (12)
Director: Bianca Stigter | Netherlands | 2021 | 69 mins
A seemingly innocuous piece of footage transforms into a rich trove of near-forgotten lives in Bianca Stigter’s profoundly moving and illuminating film, which screened at the London Jewish Film Festival this year.
In just over three minutes, a multitude of faces cross the screen. Young and old; impassive and jubilant; shy and excited by the presence of the camera. They are the residents of a Jewish community in the Polish town of Nasielsk. The footage was shot by a New Yorker, David Kurtz, who was travelling through Europe with his wife in 1938 (and whose son restored the footage after finding it in a box in the attic). The following year, Jewish families in Nasielsk were forcibly removed from their homes. Only a few survived the war.
Co-produced by British filmmaker Steve McQueen and narrated by actress Helena Bonham Carter, this mesmerising, haunting essay film – part detective procedural, part memorial – offers a rare and devastating glimpse into a vanished world.
“Unnerving and important film-making about grief, loss and bearing witness” ★★★★ The Times
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