Netherlands-United Kingdom | 69 minutes | 2021
Three Minutes – A Lengthening
Southeast US Premiere
Produced by Steve McQueen and narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, Bianca Stigter’s documentary Three Minutes – A Lengthening transforms rare color home-movie footage shot in 1938 Poland into a testament to victims of the Holocaust. Home movies may be the most haunting cinema of all, taking on the luster of loss and mortality with each passing year. The home movies Glenn Kurtz found in his parents’ home in Florida were rarer and more precious still. In Three Minutes – A Lengthening, Bianca Stigter transforms these shimmering images from over 80 years ago into a remarkable meditation on what it means for a lost community to be captured on film. The footage gives Stigter rich material to illustrate the detective work needed to recover the stories of a village destroyed by the Holocaust. As Stigter runs the original footage sometimes in slow motion, sometimes still, forwards and backwards to draw meaning from each frame, the distance originally created by looking at 83-year-old fashions and hairstyles collapses into the immediate present. To see children grinning or people craning their necks to get into the shot is to watch humanity as it always exists in the presence of a camera. At the end of 1939, the people visible in the film, and all the Jews in Nasielsk, were deported to ghettos, then sent to the Treblinka extermination camp. Kurtz’s found footage, which had almost rotted just before it was discovered and restored, is the only visual record remaining.
Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with director Bianca Stigter and moderator Barron Sherer, a time-based media artist with a focus on altering and repurposing archived films. To view the conversation please click here.
Directed by Bianca Stigter