Holocaust Remembrance Day
U.S. theatrical premiere
Co-Presented by Sousa Mendes Foundation
Film will be introduced by the filmmaker Joel Santoni and the grandson of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Louis-Philippe Mendes, followed by a buffet dinner
Joel Santoni’s powerful drama is a vivid retelling of the moving true story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul General stationed in Bordeaux, France, during World War II. His government had issued strict orders to all its diplomats, in a document called Circular 14, to deny visas to Holocaust refugees seeking to escape Occupied Europe through Portugal. Sousa Mendes defied these orders and issued Portuguese visas to an estimated 30,000 people in May and June of 1940 in an operation described by the Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer as “perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” Sousa Mendes’ defiance of government’s order was harshly punished. Famed French actor Bernard Le Coq is brilliant as Sousa Mendes. This event will honor the families rescued by this hero, some of whom will be in attendance.
The film and dinner will be followed by a moving service at 7:30pm at Temple Beth El, 660 Park Avenue, Huntington, with keynote address by Dr. Sylvain Bromberger, Sousa Mendes visa recipient, followed by complimentary coffee and dessert.