The Smuggler and Her Charges
La passeuse des Aubrais
In 1942, the life of a Jewish orphan — the father of director Michaël Prazan — was saved by a smuggler. More than 70 years later, his son embarks on an investigation to shed light on the gray areas of the past and to explore more fully his family’s tragic destiny. In its first half, the documentary recounts the rescue: After losing his parents to the concentration camps, Prazan’s father escapes death with his sister by being spirited out of Occupied France. As compelling as that part of the story proves, “The Smuggler and Her Charges” takes an even more fascinating turn in its second half, when the filmmaker tracks down the woman who smuggled the 6-year-old boy and his sister to safety. Prazan’s father has always described his savior as a Nazi collaborator who had a last-minute change of heart. But Prazan discovers that the smuggler’s story is far more complex, revealing just how difficult it is to interpret history when it’s viewed through the distorting lens of subjective experience. “The Smuggler and Her Charges” brings France under the German Occupation vividly to life: its martyrs, its villains, and its anonymous heroes. Seattle's The Stranger writes: “If you’re sick of every Twitter account and corporation branding itself as part of ‘The Resistance,’ watch this for a powerful reminder of what fighting tyranny really means.”
A Holocaust survivor preserves her story interactively so that she will be able to tell it forever.