The Children of Chabannes (1999)
1h 33min · Documentary, War · 16 June 1999
In the spirit of Louis Malle's "Au Revoir les Enfants" and Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List," the Emmy® Award-winning film "The Children of Chabannes" (93 minutes), has been praised as "splendid, informative and emotionally involving" (Los Angeles Times) and called "a seamless memoir of courage and a tribute to the human spirit." (New York Daily News). A magical World War II tale of resilience and love, "The Children of Chabannes" reveals the previously untold story of how the people in a tiny village in unoccupied France chose action over indifference to save the lives of 400 Jewish refugee children. Returning to the forgotten corner of France with her father and uncle (two of the saved children), filmmaker Lisa Gossels and co-director Dean Wetherell movingly recreated the joys and fears of daily life in Chabannes during the war. Through warm and wonderful accounts from the educators, townspeople and from the children themselves, we see how this oasis of hope is shattered in August of 1942, when the war reaches the doorsteps of the crumbling chateau where the children lived. A celebration of human kindness, "The Children of Chabannes" delivers a profound message of tolerance. The film documents the remarkable efforts made by the citizens of Chabannes, who risked their lives and livelihoods to protect these children, simply because they felt it was the right thing to do.
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