In World War II, the Jewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein is sent by the Nazis from Paris to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The guards take her clothing and luggage and they cut her hair very short. One day, when she is very weak, she hears someone asking whether any prisoner could sing Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly and she joins the group of musicians that have been spared from the gas chambers to entertain the Nazis performing music for them. She convinces the conductor Alma Rose to invite her friend Marianne, telling that she would be a talented singer. Along the years of abusive treatment, they survive but losing their dignity.
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Did You Know?
The real Fania Fenelon wanted Liza Minnelli
to play her. Fenelon is quoted as saying "I wanted Liza Minnelli. She's small, she's full of life, she sings and dances." Julie Andrews
was also briefly considered for the role of Fenelon. See more
When the group of women are getting off the train at Auschwitz, Several Camp officers, are wearing Wehrmacht Officers hats which are clearly visible by the Crests they have on them. The SS hats have the Deaths Head (Totenkopf) symbol. No Wehrmacht Officer has ever been to known to work in any labor or death camp. Most of the regular Wehrmacht (Army) claimed to have had no knowledge about the Death Camps. See more
Music by Dino Olivieri
Lyrics by Louis Poterat
Performed by Vanessa Redgrave See more