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Metadata Standards for Cinematographic Works34.203.225.78

Example: The Illegals

From the TC 372 Workshop Compendium

Working from original sources

The Illegals is an exceptional piece of cinema in many respects. It can be loosely categorised as a docudrama, combining a fictional story with material obtained by what today might be referred to as embedded journalism.

The long and complex story of how the film was created has been described in a diary by one of the main actors, Tereska Torres.

The film has had an initial theatrical release in the U.S., and has since been re-published in several manifestations and variants, and re-used in other works. Here is a filmographic record prepared in the late 1990s for the Cinematography of the Holocaust[1], edited by Ronny Loewy.

Theatrical versions

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An excerpt from the film starting at 5'35" in both the 55 min and the 72 min version. Targeted primarily at an audience in the United States, all dialogue is in English except for a short off-sceen dialogue in Yiddish which can be heard in this clip.

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This is a second clip, starting at 54'41" in the 72-minutes version of The Illegals.

Note that several shots seen here cannot be found in the shotlist, which was prepared from the 55-minute version.

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These are the last four minutes of the 72-minute version of The Illegals.

Again we note that some of the shots (including the childbirth sequence) are missing in the shorter, 55-minute version.

The final (documentary) sequence of British soldiers seizing the refugee ship is the only filmed record of such an event known to date. It has been re-used in numerous other films.

• • •

A "museum loop"

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Here we have a derivate from The Illegals created in 2002 by the director's son, Mikael Levin.

Given the instruction "to be viewed in continuous play (loop) mode", this was apparently made for display in a museum exhibition. The film uses about four minutes of material from the original, arranged once in forward mode and a second time in reverse mode, both overlaid with a text by Mikael Levin and fitted with re-arranged clips of the original soundtrack.

One of the questions raised here is if this should be considered as a cinematographic work, or a work of video art. Since the creator characterizes himself as an artist and not as a filmmaker, this work may rather fall into the scope of art cataloguing. As such, it still bears a relationship to the cinematographic work from which it was derived. This could be modelled as an "other" relationship between a filmographic description and a description from an art catalogue.

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