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The Visas that Saved Lives

The Story of Chiune Sugihara, Japan's Hero of the Holocaust (the "Japanese Schindler")

Year: 2011, 115 mins
Code: MG-Visas

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The story of an extraordinary Japanese diplomat who sacrificed his own career during World War II to write the precious visas that saved an estimated 6,000 Jewish lives. At 5:15 one summer morning in 1940, Chiune Sugihara, Japan's Consul-General in Lithuania, awoke to the sound of over 200 people crowding the street outside his Consulate. 
Consul Sugihara first feared an attack, but it did not take him long to realize that the people outside were Jews desperate for visas allowing them to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. In direct defiance of his government's orders, Sugihara took it upon himself to issue the visas. Working day and night, he hand-wrote an estimated 1600 transit visas, permitting Jews to escape the Holocaust. 
This is the story of the bravery of one man, Chiune Sugihara, often known as "the Japanese Schindler" - a true hero of the Holocaust. Based on the book Visas For Life, by Yukiko Sugihara, this dramatic film is a good supplement for Holocaust Studies programs.

Director: Katsumi Ohyama 
Producers: Tetsuo Suzuki (Fuji TV), Naonori Kawamura, Toshio Ozawa (Kazumo Co., Ltd.) Original Story: Yukiko Sugihara 
Script: Sentaro Kubota and Mamoru Sasaki 
Music: Kensaku Tanikawa, sung by Yuka Kamebuchi 
Cinematography: Takumi Seki & Satoshi Furutani 
Starring: Go Kato, Kumiko Akiyoshi, Misako Konno, Mizuho Suzuki, Jiro Karasawa

New English Subtitles 
Bonus Film: A Journey to Kaunas - Mrs. Yukiko Sugihara revisits Lithuania(14 minutes)

"...recommended" - Peter M. Nichols, New York Times

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