30th Anniversary Remastered Edition "Weapons of the Spirit"
Sneak preview screening with filmmaker Pierre Sauvage
“Nobody asked who was Jewish and who was not. Nobody asked where you were from. Nobody asked who your father was or if you could pay. They just accepted each of us,” wrote Elizabeth Koenig-Kaufman, one of the Jewish children given sanctuary in the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. As most of the world closed its doors to Jews desperately seeking a safe haven from Nazi persecution, a Protestant village in the upper reaches of the Loire Valley of France did the opposite. The people of Le Chambon welcomed all who arrived on their doorsteps. Inspired by a charismatic, pacifist pastor, Andre Trocmé, and his spouse, Magda, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon became a community guided by compassion and altruism. In spite of the village’s meager resources, all were treated with kindness. Ultimately, the ordinary heroes of Le Chambon and the surrounding communities saved between 3,500 and 5,000 Jews.
This is a story acclaimed documentary filmmaker Pierre Sauvage was meant to tell: born and protected in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, he returned to the village just in time to film the story of those—Christians and Jews—who lived it.
Originally released in 1989 to rave reviews and many awards, this newly remastered edition of the film is as timely now—perhaps even more so—than it was 30 years ago. As our society experiences increased antisemitism, violence, and bigotry, this documentary speaks to the choice we can meet to create a conspiracy of goodness through the weapons of the spirit.
A conversation follows the screening with Pierre Sauvage and Dr. Lisa Leitz, Chair, Department of Peace Studies, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Chapman University.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Peace Studies, the Department of History, and the Department of Religious Studies, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences