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Three Minutes: A Lengthening (2022)Three Minutes: A Lengthening (2022)

Three Minutes: A Lengthening (2022)

A haunting but moving elegy about loss and memory

Documentary, Drama, History

7.8

movie

Netherlands, United Kingdom
English, German, Polish
Dark, Depressing, Discussion-sparking
2022
Bianca Stigter, Female director
Helena Bonham Carter
69 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
The story of the only three minutes of footage —a home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938— showing images of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk (Poland) before the beginning of the Shoah.

Our Take

7.8
The Staff

In this documentary by Bianca Stigter, a three-minute home video of a nondescript Jewish town in Poland is examined in great detail to reveal the history and humanity behind it. Taken just before the Holocaust, it’s one of the few remaining proofs of life the town has before its population was decimated in the war. And so the footage is repeated and stretched in this documentary, because as the narrator puts it, “as long as we are watching, history is not over yet,” and the people have yet to be gone.

Glenn Kurtz, the grandson of the person who shot the home video, takes it upon himself to investigate the history of the town and its citizens: what they were and what became of them. The results are often grim and unsettling, and the eerie editing matches them with great effect. But when it’s not haunting, the film is oddly hopeful—for a future that remembers its past and preserves it in meaningful ways. Couple this sentiment with the narrator’s own poetic observations, and you get a powerfully moving elegy about loss and memory. 

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