For Your Consideration

Three Minutes – A Lengthening shows an amateur film, mainly in color, shot by David Kurtz in 1938 of the Jewish inhabitants of a small town in Poland and tries to postpone its ending. These are the only known moving image of the Jewish residents of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. By showing the pictures over and over, in a myriad of different ways, the documentary investigates which stories are hidden in the restored celluloid, in order to commemorate a forgotten history. As long as we look, history is not over. Actress Helena Bonham Carter narrates the essay about film, history and memory.

See the film

UK RElease (UK)

From 30 Nov – Various UK cinemas

The film is also available in the Academy Screening Room

Director: Bianca Stigter

Editor: Katharina Wartena

Sound Design: Mark Glynne

Producer: Floor Onrust

Co-Producer: Steve McQueen

Narrator: Helena Bonham Carter


“Three Minutes” is more than a documentary about the Holocaust — it is an investigative drama, a meditation on the ethics of moving images and a ghost story about people who might be forgotten should we take those images for granted.”

– New York Times Critics” Pick:

“Three Minutes: A Lengthening unspools like a not-so-minor miracle. It’s a work of poetry, power and ruminative grace.”

– Washington Post

“These three minutes, in other words, contain multitudes, as does this economical but richly expansive documentary. “Three Minutes: A Lengthening” is a snapshot, a memorial, a knotty philosophical detective story and a devastating account of Nazi atrocities. It’s also an extended rumination on the illusory, entropic nature of the cinematic medium itself.”

– Los Angeles Times 

“Bianca Stigter’s documentary “Three Minutes: A Lengthening” is a great film about filmmaking and a quietly devastating memorial for lives long gone.”

– Matt Zoller Seitz,

One of “Ten Upcoming Documentaries To Keep An Eye On This Oscar Season”

– Tom O’Brien, Next Best Picture

“Rare home movie footage shot in Poland becomes priceless historical artifact… Haunting and provocative… An original and incisive meditation on history, memory, memorials and the very nature of celluloid… [A] poignant film… Stigter’s method is simultaneously creative and forensic, but never sentimental.”

– Alissa Simon, Variety

**A Critic’s Pick **

“A beautifully made exploration of the past… An eloquent meditation on loss, memory and how film can shape them… A beautiful film that pays tribute to those lost and to the persistence and emotional power of memory.”

– Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter

“Poignant… [Tells an] extraordinary story…. A rare visual record… Stigter discovers a wealth of revealing historical detail.”

– Geoffrey Macnab, Screen International

“A remarkable glimpse of Jewish life before the Holocaust… Three Minutes is fascinating… electrifying… An invaluable document and a humbling

memorial… A reminder of what a magical medium film is — how unique it is in its ability to capture so many moments and so much life.”

– Nicholas Barber, IndieWire

“A moving, rigorous memorial… Bianca Stigter’s formally bold essay film is a quietly moving memorial to a lost Europe… an engrossing and technically accomplished exercise in remembrance.”

– Stephen Dalton, The Film Verdict

“[An] extraordinary debut documentary.”

– Nick Cunningham, Business Doc Europe


Bianca Stigter – Writer and Director

Bianca Stigter is a historian and cultural critic. In 2019 she published the book Atlas of an Occupied CityAmsterdam 1940-1945, which now is being made into a documentary. She made the short film essays Three Minutes -Thirteen Minutes – Thirty Minutes (2015) and I kiss this letter – Farewell letters from Amsterdammers 1940-1945 (2018). She is the Associate Producer of Steve McQueen’s feature films 12 Years a Slave (2013), Academy Award for Best Picture, and Widows (2018).

Helena Bonham Carter – Narrator

Helena Bonham Carter is a critically acclaimed, Oscar nominated British actress known for her work in, amongst many others: A Room with A View (1985), Howards End (1994), The Wings of the Dove (1997), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The King’s Speech (2011), for which she won a BAFTA, Ocean’s 8 (2018) and Enola Holmes (2020). She currently portrays Princess Margaret in the television series The Crown (2019-present).

Katharina Wartena – Editor

Katharina Wartena lives and works in Paris and has been editing documentaries and feature films for more than twenty years, which include: Brownian Movement (2010) Cobain (2018) Robby Müller: Living the Light (2018) and Boven is het stil (2013) for which Wartena won a Golden Calf. 

Steve McQueen – Co-producer – Lammas Park

Steve McQueen is an artist and filmmaker. He directed four critically acclaimed feature films, HungerShameWidows and 12 Years A Slave, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. McQueen’s most recent project, Small Axe, is an anthology of five films which brings to life the experiences of London’s West Indian community. Two of the films were selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. McQueen’s artwork is exhibited and held in major museums around the world. In 2019/2020 Tate Modern showed a retrospective of his work and Tate Britain was home to his ‘Year Three’ exhibit.

Glenn Kurtz and Maurice Chandler

In Three Minutes – A Lengthening Glenn Kurtz shares his extensive knowledge of and insights in his grandfather’s footage from Nasielsk, earlier assembled in the book Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film. The book traces his four-year journey to identify the people in his grandfather’s images. One of them is Maurice Chandler, who appears in the film as a thirteen-year-old boy. The book was published in 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Wilko Sterke – Composer

Wilko Sterke is composer and musician. He has worked on productions for renowned theater companies as Het Nationale Toneel en Orkater. 

Mark Glynne – Sound Designer

Mark Glynne established Anthill Studio in 2002. He has won two Golden Calfs for Best Sound Design. Amongst his films are: Buladó (2020), Magic Mountains (2020), Farewell Paradise (2019) and God Only Knows (2019). 

Family Affair Films

Family Affair Films is an Amsterdam based film production company specialized in contemporary fiction, animation and documentary, of high artistic quality distinguished by strong author-driven visions.

Their slate include documentary THREE MINUTES, A LENGTHENING (Venice, Telluride, Toronto & IDFA 2021) features SPLENDID ISOLATION (Rotterdam 2022) WHITE BERRY (Chicago 2022), BLOODY MARIE (Rotterdam 2019), LIGHT AS FEATHERS  (Toronto, Rome 2018) and BEYOND WORDS (Toronto, San Sebastian, 2017). 

Documentary OCCUPIED CITY by Steve McQueen and 4 new feature films are expected to be released in 2023.