This program is generously sponsored by National Bank Financial. T. Craig Mallender
Based on a true story, FANNY’S JOURNEY is an incredible tale of bravery, strength and survival in occupied France in 1943 — a story of a daring young girl just turning thirteen, who does the impossible in the face of fear and doubt. The film is a handsomely produced period piece that portrays Holocaust survival in France and Italy through the eyes of its young protagonists. After their father’s arrest, Fanny and her
younger sisters are taken by their mother to hide in a boarding school in Vichy France’s neutral zone where Jewish children could keep a low profile. But after the Nazi occupation of all of France, these and other hidden Jews must be smuggled to safety, in this case to an Italian foster home for Jewish children when Italy under Mussolini was not murderously searching out its Jews. But after Nazi occupation of northern Italy, the resourceful leader, Mme. Forman, must once again arrange the escape of the children–now to Switzerland. The children, even the youngest, are given false passports and the task of learning their new names and new family stories. En route, the adults are separated from the children and circumstances force the frightened Fanny to take a leadership position within the small group who are traveling with her. Before she must leave her children, Mme. Forman wisely instructs Fanny, “If you are scared, pretend otherwise for the sake of the others.” As the children develop solidarity and the ability to work together, there are even some light moments in which the youngsters play as if they weren’t fleeing for their lives. The film brings an important period of history alive for the current generation, even as the actual people portrayed in the movie and their generation is dying off.
France, 2016, French with English subtitles, 94 minutes