We do not go to the Crossroads Bijou theater in San Antonio for its convenience, because it isn’t nearby. We go for the great movies – usually independent, sometimes subtitled, but always evocative – that will never come to New Braunfels. Our latest find on Sunday was “Sarah’s Key,” a film about a young Jewish girl, Sarah, in Paris during WWII and a modern day American journalist, Julia Jarmond, seeking the truth about the girl and her family. Beginning in August 1942, French police started rounding up Jewish families in France, held some of them in French concentration camps, but deported tens of thousands to Auschwitz and other German concentration camps. In “Sarah’s Key” the heart-wrenching story of Sarah and her family, who are part of the first 13,000 taken, becomes entwined with the journalist’s husband’s family. The acting is superb, especially by Melusine Mayance, who plays 10-year-old Sarah. Tatiana De Rosnay is the author of the book from which the movie was made, so if you do not get a chance to see the movie, you might want to read the book.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
I do not remember learning about this particular part of WWII history in school, just about Hitler and the Nazis. Perhaps that is because France failed to acknowledge that such terrible events ever happened until 1995, when then President Chirac publicly apologized for the gendarme’s involvement in such a travesty. Germany invaded France in May of 1940 and occupied it until June 1944. From 1942-1944, the French police rounded up more than 75,721 Jews and sent them to German camps. Less than 2,000 survived. In January 2005, a monument in Paris was opened to pay tribute the men, women, and children who were imprisoned and murdered. All of their names have been engraved on pale stone walls.
Although the U.S. internment camps for Japanese Americans from 1942-1946 were humane, they were nonetheless shameful. Fear and ignorance make people do stupid, hurtful things.