A refugee boat docks in the harbor of Malmö, Sweden, on April 28, 1945. Swedish newspaper photographers are on the scene to document the influx of its diverse group of German concentration camp survivors. The faces among the crowd belong to Jewish refugees from all over Europe: Polish mothers and children, Norwegian prisoners of war, members of the French Resistance, British spies, and perhaps the most unique among them, an Italian-American who was visiting her grandparents in Italy when the Nazis mistook her for an espionage agent and deported her to Auschwitz.
In “Every Face Has a Name,” director Magnus Gertten tracks down many of the previously anonymous individuals featured in Gustaf Boge Claredio’s black-and-white film reel (originally shot for broadcast on Swedish National Television) and asks them to discover themselves anew via the archival footage captured of their extraordinary entry into Sweden. Their profound recollections of being ferried to liberation are not only miraculous and moving, but offer a poignant window into the experiences of current refugees seeking asylum in Europe and around the world. This fascinating documentary, which was awarded the Church of Sweden’s significant cash prize at Gothenburg Film Festival, interweaves present-day images of war evacuees from Africa and the Middle East to remind us of our collective responsibility toward sheltering displaced persons regardless of homeland.
Buy tickets here.