Movie Diary 9/20/2022

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Bianca Stigter, 2021). A man named David Kurtz shot three minutes of film footage in a Jewish neighborhood in a town in Poland in 1938. Discovered and restored just before it disintegrated decades later, the footage makes up 99.5 percent of what is onscreen for this 69-minute documentary. This is not a conventional documentary, in other words, and all the more memorable because of that. Helena Bonham Carter’s thoughtful narrator’s voice guides us through it, as the filmmaker’s grandson describes trying to find out who is in the footage and what happened to them; one survivor is around to comment on this scrap of history and the faces caught in a sunny moment before the catastrophe.

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