The Smuggler and Her Charges

Loading the player ...

France | 2016 | 81 minutes | Michaël Prazan

Documentary filmmaker Michaël Prazan's captivating and personal detective story uncovers the truth behind his father's childhood escape from Nazi-occupied France, which was made possible by a female smuggler with mysterious motivations.

"A powerful reminder of what fighting tyranny really means"Heidi Groover, The Stranger

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

SIFF Cinema Uptown

6:00 PM Date has passed LLimited Availability

Friday, May 26, 2017

  • Purchased Tickets
  • Limited Availability
  • On Standby
  • Matinee

AMC Pacific Place

12:00 PM Date has passed

Occupied France lives and breathes through this heavy Holocaust documentary by Michaël Prazan. Although a thoroughly documented subject, this film twists and turns subtly as a mystery thriller wrought with villains, trials, and unlikely heroes. Prazan takes us along a personal journey by recounting his father Bernard's escape from Nazi-controlled France as a child in the early 1940s. His story was possible only with the help of a young barmaid, Therese Leopold. A fresh life of comfort and wealth is ripped from Bernard as his parents are sent away on trains never to be seen again. She barely knew her young Jewish charges, yet Therese risked everything for their survival and suffered greatly. Bernard kept these details, among others, from his son, discovered only through investigation. In turn, he was able to live a harsh childhood in hiding throughout the war. For her efforts, Therese was turned in by French Gestapo agent Pierre Lussac—a man whose real cruelty shames fictional Machiavellian villains—and spent the war imprisoned in several concentration camps. Interviews with Bernard and Therese, well into her 90s at the time of filming, interspersed with dramatized scenes, bring their tragically inspiring tale to life.

Director Biography

An accomplished documentarian with more than 15 films, Michaël Prazan is also a published author of novels and academic essays. His work covers two decades, taking in-depth looks at radical social movements and ideologies.

Sponsored by AM1150 KKNW

  • Original Language Title: La Passeuse des Aubrais
  • Director: Michaël Prazan
  • Premiere Status: North America
  • Country: France
  • Year: 2016
  • Running Time: 81 minutes
  • Producer: Sylvie Blum
  • Screenplay: Michaël Prazan
  • Cinematographers: Laurent Chalet
  • Editors: Yvan Gaillard
  • Music: Laurent Thomas, Guillaume Solignat
  • Filmography: Le dernier combat d’Ariel Sharon (2008); Nankin, la memoire et l’oubli (2006); The Trial of Adolf Eichmann (1997)
  • Language: French, English
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: INA
  • International Sales: INA