Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story – Public Screening & Discussion of the Award Winning Film @ UMass Dartmouth, May 4th 2014

Image of Aristides de Sousa Mendes & visa signed by himWHAT: Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story – A Public Screening & Discussion of the Award Winning Film
Grand Reading Room of the Claire T. Carney Library, UMass Dartmouth
2 P.M., Sunday, May 4, 2014

~ Free and Open to the Public ~
Use Parking Lot 13

On Sunday, May 4, 2014, the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives and the Center for Jewish Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will hold a public screening and discussion of the award-winning film Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story. The event will take place at 2:00 PM in the Grand Reading Room of the Claire T. Carney Library (Parking Lot 13).

In June 1940, when Nazi troops invaded France, an amazing rescue operation sprang into being. One man, on his own, defying the direct orders of his government, chose to grant visas out of Occupied France to an estimated 30,000 refugees, including around 10,000 Jews. This remarkable true story has been described by historians as “the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” The man was Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux.

Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story is a dramatization of the events surrounding that act of bravery that led then Prime Minister of Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar to strip Aristides de Sousa Mendes of his diplomatic position and his pension, forbidding him from earning a living and provide for his large family. It was also the act that led the state of Israel to declare Aristides de Sousa Mendes “Righteous Among the Nations” in 1966.
Directed by Joel Santoni and starring Bernard Lecoq as Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the film has been shown at various festivals, including the Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival in Italy, where it won the “Best movie and best supporting actor” award; and the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival in California where it received the prize for “Best Narrative Feature.“

Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story will be introduced by Mr. Harry Oesterreicher, of the Sousa Mendes Foundation, whose father and grandfather received exit visas issued by the hero.

The Sousa Mendes Foundation was created in 2010 for the purpose of honoring the memory of Aristides de Sousa Mendes and educating the world about his activities. It has a twofold mission: raising funds for the creation of a Sousa Mendes Museum and Human Rights Center in Portugal, and sponsoring US-based projects that perpetuate the legacy of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

For further information about the screening of Disobedience: the Sousa Mendes Story, contact 508-999-8684 or email spacheco@umassd.edu.

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