Holocaust Remembrance Day/Philadelphia Premiere
Director: Lola Doillon
Country: Belgium, France
Running Time: 94 min
Language: French with English subtitles
Sponsored by: Jan Felman and Harvey Schwartz, and Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell in memory of Dr. Franklin H. Littell z”l
Landing the role of the titular Fanny over 10,000 other aspiring young actresses, newcomer Léonie Souchaud delivers a flawless performance as a brave youngster leading a band of orphans through Nazi-occupied France in this suspenseful and handsomely shot coming-of-age drama based on the autobiographical novel by Fanny Ben-Ami.
After the arrest of their father, 13-year-old Fanny and her two younger sisters Erika (Fantine Harduin) and Georgette (Juliane Lepoureau) are sent to a boarding school in France’s neutral territory. It isn’t long before their safety is compromised and Fanny and the other children are whisked away to yet another temporary safe haven in the Italian zone. There, under the care of the stern but tender Madame Forman (César-winning actress Cécile de France), Fanny is given a job in the kitchen helping out Elie (Victor Meutelet), an affable and attractive young cook eager to join the resistance. Unfortunately, Fanny’s new friendship is cut short when Mussolini’s regime falls and Madame Forman is forced to devise a plan to save her charges. Equipped with fake passports and new names, the children embark on their journey to the Swiss border by train under Madame Forman’s guidance. En route, as circumstances change for the worse, Madame relinquishes her leadership role to Fanny, who despite her mounting fears realizes she has no other choice but to forge ahead.
Official Selection: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, Haifa Film Festival, Hamburg Film Festival, London Film Festival, Miami Jewish Film Festival, Munich International Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, San Diego Jewish Film Festival and UK International Jewish Film Festival
Awards: Audience Award Winner, Best Narrative Feature and Jury Prize, Narrative Feature: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival | Michel Award for Best Film: Hamburg Film Festival
Subjects: France, heroes, Holocaust memories, Jewish refugee children, Righteous Gentiles, strong women, World War II
For Fans of: Action-Adventure films, Cécile de France, family dramas, Fanny Ben-Ami, films based on true stories, European cinema, Female directors, French cinema, Holocaust Cinema, inspirational dramas, Lola Doillon, suspenseful movies, World War II stories