During World War II, the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon was occupied by the Germans. A Protestant minister, Andre Trocme, spearheaded a daring project of giving shelter and sanctuary to thousands of Jewish children from different parts of Europe. From the pulpit, he proclaimed the ethic of nonviolence and the need to help strangers in the spirit of Jesus Christ. All the members of his church who were involved risked the safety and welfare of their own families.
This French film directed by Jean-Louis Lorenzi, which won an International Emmy for Best Drama, pays tribute to the heroism and compassion of these Christians. The drama conveys the pressures faced by the minister, the friendship forged by two lonely Jewish boys, the brief romance between a Polish refugee and a teacher in the school, and a Jewish woman who works with the minister while also helping the resistance movement. Pacifism during a war is a hard moral path to follow as Trocme discovers in his encounters with a local policeman and a Nazi commander. Le Chambon salutes the solidarity of these Christians in their memorable effort to fight oppression and injustice with the ethic of love.
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