This fascinating documentary tells the story of 20,000 Jews who escaped the Nazi persecutions and took refuge in Shanghai, China during World War II - the only place in the world that did not require an entrance visa. Fifteen of these Shanghai Jews retell their story: traveling through the Soviet Union and Japan, living in the ghetto Hongkew (the poorest quarter of Shanghai), and being completely cut off during the Japanese occupation until their liberation. With rare archival footage and incredible interviews, ESCAPE TO THE RISING SUN features refugees whose hopes that Shanghai would be a "Paris of the East" were dashed by the subsequent disillusionment of living in extreme poverty. Despite miserable conditions, Shanghai's Jews established their own culture, political clubs, and yeshivas, and contributed to Chinese life. Jews also made important allies: we learn of one Japanese diplomat who personally saved 3,500 Jews by giving them sanctuary in Shanghai. This movie was shot in April 1989, just weeks before the massacre of Tiananmen Square, and was the first time a film crew had ever been allowed into Hongkew.
Graduated in 1981 from the I.A.D. (Instituts des Arts de Diffusion) in Cinema Direction, TV and RADIO Direction, at Louvain La Neuve (Belgium).
Founder and director of Les Films de la Mémoire asbl (since 1987). Producer and Director of the Jewish programme, SHEMA ISRAËL, for RTBF and BRTN - the Belgian French and Dutch language (respectively), television and radio networks from 1982 to 1996.
1990 Escape to the Rising Sun
Documentary - 16 mm, 95 min
Prizes Prize of the City of Strasbourg & Prize of the Universities
at the 19th Film Festival of Strasbourg
TV Broadcasts : NHK (Japan) - RTBF (Belgium) - ZDF (Germany) - Canal + (France) - RTP (Portugal)- Channel 2 (Israel) - Globo (Brasil) - KQED (San Francisco) - TV5 (Europe) - PBS Network (USA - 40 broadcasters) - Planète Cable (France).
1995 Rhodes For Ever
Documentary - 16 mm, 52 min
Prizes Planète cable Prize
at the 15ème Bilan du Film Ethnographique
TV Broadcasts : BRTN and RTBF (Belgium) - YLE TV1 (Finland) - Fernsehen Aus Berlin (Germany) - Planète Cable (France, Germany) - ONCE TV (Mexico) - Noga-Channel 8 (Israel)
1996 The Comic Strip Hits 100
Documentary - Beta Digital, 53 min
Prizes : Grand Prix Pédagogique
at the XXIst International Art and Pedagogical Film Festival - Unesco house - Paris
TV Broadcasts : Canal + (France) - RTBF and Canal + ( Belgium) - AVRO (The Netherlands) - TSI (Switzerland) - RTL Letzebuerg (Luxembourg) - RIKISUTVARPID (Island) - RTP (Portugal), Noga-Channel 8 (Israel).
She has directed over one hundred and twenty television programmes since 1982, among them recently :
1996 Fiftieth anniversary of UEJB (Belgian Union of Jewish Students), Jerusalem 3000, What you always wanted to know about Judaism part II, Antisemitism parts I and II,...
1995 Hidden Children , What you always wanted to know about Judaism (1st part) , Is the Jewish Sabbath a Christian Sunday ?, What is judeity ?...
1994 Women in the community - opening Film Festival, "Destins de Femmes", Concert of liturgical Music- liberation of Ostende, Selihot; The Talmud: Adin Steinzalts ...
1993 Tell me what you eat , I tell you who you are, Antwerp 93 : liturgical Music Concert, Fighting for remembrance part II, 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising .......