MHM Friends Film Night: “Persona Non Grata (Sugihara Chiune)” (2015)

The Friends of the Melbourne Holocaust Museum will be screening “Personal Non Grata (Sugihara Chiune) (2015) 139 mins
Director: Celin Gluck

English, Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Hebrew (English Subtitles)

Persona Non Grata brings to life the riveting story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, known as the Schindler of Japan, and his life leading up to and after his decision to issue over 2,000 visas to Jewish refugees in Kaunas, Lithuania saving the lives of over 6,000 people.

This is the story of a man who believed in doing all he could do for the benefit of his beloved Japan, including trying to keep her from becoming embroiled in a worldwide conflict. Along the way, he comes face to face with the plight of European Jews as they try to escape the onslaught of the Nazi regime and the rapidly advancing German armies. Caught between the unbending policies of his country, bound by treaty with Nazi Germany and his awakening moral responsibilities, we follow Sugihara’s life from his early days in Manchuria to his eventual posting in Lithuania and his appointment with destiny which would forever brand him a hero.

With a wonderful international flavour, this film is a rare insight into the Japanese involvement in the Holocaust during World War Two.

The screening will be introduced by Sue Lewis.