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Inside Hana's Suitcase (2009)

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INSIDE HANA'S SUITCASE A Theatrical Documentary Synopsis "Inside Hana's Suitcase", is the poignant story of two young children who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and the terrible events... See full summary »



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Title: Inside Hana's Suitcase (2009)

Inside Hana's Suitcase (2009) on IMDb 7.6/10

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INSIDE HANA'S SUITCASE A Theatrical Documentary Synopsis "Inside Hana's Suitcase", is the poignant story of two young children who grew up in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia and the terrible events that they endured just because they happened to be born Jewish. Based on the internationally acclaimed book "Hana's Suitcase" which has been translated into 40 languages, the film is an effective blend of documentary and dramatic techniques. In addition to tracing the lives of George and Hana Brady in the 1930's and 40's, "Inside Hana's Suitcase" tells the present-day story of "The Small Wings", a group of Japanese children, and how their passionate and tenacious teacher, Fumiko Ishioka, helped them solve the mystery of Hana Brady, whose name was painted on an old battered suitcase that they received from Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi death camp built in Poland. The film's plot unfolds as told through contemporary young storytellers who act as the omniscient narrators. They seamlessly transport us ... Written by Larry Weinstein

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Release Date:

January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Mala de Hana  »

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A personal view, beyond the statistics
29 December 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a rather unique account of the Holocaust which really brings into view the benefits of "globalization". A suitcase from Auschwitz ends up at the Holocaust Museum in Tokyo, Japan. The writing on it indicates that its owner was a young girl named Hana Brady from what is now the Czech Republic. Fumiko, who runs the museum, attempts to find out more about Hana. This journey takes her to the Czech Republic where she speaks with curators involved in Holocaust Memorials in that country. Eventually she finds that the brother of Hana is still alive and living in Toronto, Canada.

It's a very heart-rending story and even though it is geared (to some extent) for children, it can and should be viewed by all. There are quotes from children through-out (from Japan, the Czech Republic and Canada) to demonstrate that intolerance eventually can lead to the killing of not only adults, but children as well. It provides a warning and a historical lesson of the abomination of the Nazi regime. It provides truth to the comment that the destruction of people should not just be statistics – but that evil happens to a person, who lived, and had a name. It also shows, through Hana's brother George, that the suffering continues for a life-time.

Sadly, Hana has succeeded well in her aspirations to be a teacher. With almost seventy years gone by, she is now teaching young people around the world about these horrible events.

There were a few aspects that annoyed me. I felt that the dramatic recreations of the past – with an actress playing Hana – distracted from the main story. There was also actual film footage of Hana (I think). The producers should have distinguished between actual footage and recreated footage. My point of view would have been to remove this recreated footage entirely, but then again maybe I need to look at it more from the vantage point of a 10 year old.

Also, and at the risk of sounding politically incorrect and digressing; and with no intent to disparage those wonderful people who run the museum in Tokyo. Isn't it a little ironic that Japan has a Memorial on the Holocaust, when it has done so little (in fact denied) it's war crimes against humanity to the people's of China, the Philippines, Korea, prisoners of war…?!

But criticism aside - even though this is about the Holocaust, it is in many ways, a life affirming story. There is also an excellent short book with the title "Hana's Suitcase".

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