The Rescuers Documentary Trailer
The Rescuers is a documentary that brings to life the remarkable efforts of the heroic diplomats who saved tens of thousands of Jews before and during World War II. Often going against their own governments policies, some of the diplomats sacrificed their careers and their livelihoods, working frantically to save people they did not know; in doing so they exemplified the mystery of goodness. This film presents the personal stories of these heroes, as told by their children and grandchildren, and the Jews they saved, who recount their desperate attempts to escape war-torn Europe.
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Michael King and Executive Producer, Joyce D. Mandell take us on a journey in search of goodness in The Rescuers, a powerful and inspiring documentary that chronicles the astonishing efforts of heroic diplomats who displayed the mystery of goodness.
Re-tracing the footsteps of the diplomats in the dangerous years leading up to and during World War II, the film weaves together both documentary style and dramatic reenactments. Based on the personal accounts of survivors and descendants of the diplomats and other rescuers including His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, the film follows the thread of history in a journey across Europe and around the globe. Those who owe their lives to the diplomats travel back to Europe and describe their experiences in their hometowns and along their escape routes.
The Rescuers brings together the Twentieth Century and Holocaust historian Sir Martin Gilbert, and anti-genocide activist Stephanie Nyombayire, a Rwandan who lost one hundred members of her family in the Rwandan genocide. We join in their emotional journey as they track down the places in which the diplomats were able to carry out their heroic actions; we join them as they meet the people whose lives were saved during Europes darkest hours.
From Sir Martins personal library in London to the Righteous Diplomat Archives at Yad Vashem, Sir Martin and Stephanie traverse Europe by train, through Germany and Denmark, France and Italy, Poland and Lithuania, to Budapest and the scene of the largest diplomatic rescue effort in history.
Among the heroic diplomats featured in the film are the German diplomat George Duckwitz in Copenhagen, the Portuguese Consul Aristide de Souza Mendes in Bordeaux, Americans Varian Fry and Hiram Bingham in Marseilles, Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara and the Dutch Jan Zwartendijk in Kaunas, the Turkish Consul Selahattin Ulkumen in Rhodes, the British Captain Frank Foley in Berlin, the Polish diplomat Henryk Slawik in Budapest, and the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped to coordinate the rescue efforts in Budapest in 1944 with the Italian Giorgio Perlasca who represented Spain, Archbishop Angelo Rotta who represented the Vatican, and the Consul Carl Lutz of Switzerland. The film also features special interviews with H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Polish Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski.
The survivors featured in the film are the brothers Bernard and Elliot Turiel, Michael Kaufman, Inge Sampson and her son Michael Sampson, the brothers Leo and Gustav Goldberger, Sylvia Smoller, Berl Schor and Peter Vagi.
Through the film, Sir Martin and Stephanies relationship develops and inspires Stephanie to return home to Rwanda to interview Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire, Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Rwanda. In this way The Rescuers weaves the lessons of the Holocaust with the Rwandan Genocide in the 1990s and the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. The film identifies powerful questions that can be asked today of government leaders and their diplomatic representatives throughout the world. It challenges them and all of us to use their moral authority and power to save lives in danger today.