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Jane Enkin Previews Fanny's Journey-Remarkable Film of Survival and Courage-Rady JCC's Wpg Jewish International Film Fest

by Jane Enkin ,Music and Story at, May 21, 2017

Fanny’s Journey

Le Voyage de Fanny

France/Belgium, 2016, French with English subtitles, Director: Lola
Doillon, 94 minutes

Jane Enkin Music and Story at

For schedule of Winnipeg Jewish international Film Festival and to buy tickets go to :


Fanny’s Journey is a film of survival and courage. A Miami Herald article states that director Lola Doillon “…wanted

the film to be family friendly and chose to cut out any violence. ‘I wanted to
make a movie on World War II but that children of any age can watch it with
their family or teachers, and I hope it opens dialogue,’ Doillon said. ‘For
children that know nothing or little of the war, the movie is more an adventure
movie with kids.’”


When we first meet 13 year-old Fanny, she and her sisters
are among many other Jewish children, cared for in a spacious country house
surrounded by fields and trees.  The Nazi
invasion of France has forced her parents to send the girls to this safe place
in the French neutral zone. (As the notes at the end of the film tell us,
thousands of children were saved by the Organization to Save Children.)  The situation changes, and soon the children
are all taught new, French names, told to say they are heading to summer camp,
and put on a train to meet people who will escort them to Switzerland.

Before leaving the children alone on the train, the woman leaving
them puts Fanny in charge of the others. “Never show fear,” their caregiver
says as she leaves Fanny. “You’re a hard head. 
That’s a good thing.  That’s why
you’ll succeed.” Fanny says she’ll be scared, and she’s told, “Pretend. For the

From this point on, the tension and suspense in the film build. Fanny
is brave and decisive, and the other children also show incredible bravery and
ingenuity, making suggestions that Fanny accepts wisely. When Nazi soldiers
appear in the film, they are evil in mechanical, cold ways.  Some French adults have brief opportunities
to show compassion during the journey.

The focus remains on the children, on their own. They are fascinating,
quirky individuals, who build strong relationships.  They remain children – they get bored, they
miss their mothers, and yet, whenever they relax they play, and each playful
scene is remarkable.


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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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