Watch films incorporating themes related to the rescue of Jews during the Holocaust; our Museum will be happy to provide you with information on both Polish and foreign films on this subject, including both documentaries and feature films. Each item pertaining to a specific film includes a brief description and a plot summary.
- Joanna, Felix Falk, 2010, Poland, Drama film, 105 min
The setting for this film is wartime, occupied Kraków. The central character, Joanna, meets a little Jewish girl in a church and decides to help her. That moment is the beginning of a dramatic story of hiding. Joanna soon falls victim to denunciation. During a search, a German officer uncovers her secret. He is prepared keep that secret, but on one condition – Joanna must become a collaborator.
- Konsul z Bordeaux / Le Consul de Bordeaux, Francisco Manso, Joao Correa, 2011, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, War film
Told in retrospect, this is the true story of the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes. In June 1940, moved by the fate of refugees from occupied France, he decides to disobey a ban on the issuing of visas. He provides Portuguese visas to all who come to the Consulate and, in doing so, saves tens of thousands of people, among them, around 10,000 Jews. In 1966, Aristides de Sousa Mendes was posthumously honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations. The music for the film was composed by Henri Seroka.
- Naganiacz, Ewa i Czesław Petelscy, Zespół Filmowy Kamera , Poland, War film, 80 min.
The screenplay for this film was written by Roman Bratny. In the winter of 1945, a former Warsaw Uprising participant hides Hungarian Jews. Unfortunately, during a hunt for those in hiding, they are discovered and killed by the Nazis. The sole survivor is a little girl who runs away from Michał, suspecting him of betrayal.
- Nie było słońca tej wiosny, Juliusz Janicki, Studio filmowe Zodiak, Poland, Drama film, 86 min.
It is the winter of 1943. One night, a Jewish woman, who had managed to escape from a transport, arrives at a farm on the edge of a village. Her arrival saves the life of one of the family members. The farmer decides to hide Chaja, a doctor, despite the resistance of his family. Unfortunately, he, himself, reveals the secret to other villagers. Mazusz, a partisan, saves Piotr from death and feelings develop between Piotr and Chaja. The Jewish woman leaves the partisan unit and, later, Piotr loses his entire family as the result of a Gestapo operation.
- Persona non grata, Cellin Gluck, 2015, Japan, Biographical drama film, 139 min
The story of Chiune Sugihara who, in World War II, as Consul in Lithuania, saved several thousand Jews, issuing them with illegal transit visas. To this day, Sugihara remains the only Japanese to have been honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.
- Pianista, Roman Polański, Poland, UK, France, Drama film, 142 min
Based on the memoirs of pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, this film tells the story of how he miraculously escaped death, having been turned away from the Umschlagplatz by a Jewish policeman. After leaving the ghetto, he initially hides with Polish friends. Following the Warsaw Uprising, he is discovered by Willem Hosenfeld, a German Captain, who is moved by his piano-playing and saves his life.
- Pokolenie, Andrzej Wajda, Wytwórnia Flmów Fabularnych, Poland, Drama film, 83 min
This film includes a scene where a group of Jews is helped, by members of a leftist underground unit, during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
- Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Women, Bogdanovich, Peter, USA, Drama film, 106 min.
This made-for-television film is based on the book “Portraits of Moral Courage in the Holocaust” by Gay Block and Malka Drucker. A Polish Catholic housewife in Warsaw cares for a Jewish boy following the death of his mother, by smuggling food to him in the Wilna ghetto. It turns out that she was honouring a promise made to his mother – the boy survives the War, leaves for Palestine and retains his Jewish identity.
- Ryś, Stanisław Różewicz, Studio Filmowe Tor, Poland, Drama film, 82 min.
Konrad, a priest, hearing confession from a young partisan, learns about an Underground death sentence passed on one of his parishioners, Alojzy Stelmach. The priest, unable to accept Stelmach’s guilt, begins his own investigation. During a conversation with Alojzy, a hidden Jewish child appears in the yard. The priest considers that anyone who is hiding Jews cannot be a bad person and so decides to take the blame upon himself. However, the death sentence is not carried out and, after the Germans discover the Jews’ hiding-place, he and Alojzy join up with the partisans.
- Samson, Andrzej Wajda, Zespół Filmowy Kadr, Zespół Filmowy Droga, W.F.F Nr 1 w Łodzi, Poland, Drama film, 117 min.
This is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Kazimierz Brandys. It is the story of a young Jew, Jakub Gold, who, after escaping from a ghetto, finds refuge with several others, including a fellow prisoner, Malina. Following Malina’s death and being discovered by neighbours, he flees and ends up with a unit of the underground. After the Germans discover a printing press, he is killed and all are buried within the ruins of the building.