An upcoming documentary reveals the race against time to document the rare stories of the diplomats who saved hundreds of thousands of Jews from the Nazis during World War II.
The Rescuers — Last-Chance Project is a sequel to the movie The Rescuers which came out a decade ago and told the story of 15 diplomats, including Swede Raoul Wallenberg, who was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Israel.
In the new film, Emmy-winning director Michael King focuses on 30 more stories of diplomats from all over the world who saved Jewish lives in Europe during the war.
The story of the film is mainly told from the perspective of diplomats' and survivors' children since most witnesses have already passed away.
According to King, it’s “a race against time, our final chance to document the authentic testimonies of the rescued and their rescuers. We have a team of researchers trying to track people who were rescued, as well as the children of the diplomats, and we're using input from professionals like historian Prof. Alexa Potter.”
The project, which was shot in several countries, is headed by King and philanthropist Joyce Mandel. All the testimonies were recorded and kept in a digital archive.
According to producer Yaniv Shachaf, one of the film's most touching moments came when children of diplomats and families of survivors met on set.
“Seeing people meet for the first time when you know that they are alive thanks to the brave actions of these specific people, it’s amazing. It brought real closure to some of the survivors, and a privilege to relatives of the diplomats,” he said.
According to Shachaf, the movie is set for release in 2023.