After witnessing the treatment of Jews in Nazi territory made him physically sick, cultured American gentleman Varian Fry starts en emergency rescue commission to raise funds and lobby to help intellectuals and artists, especially Jews, escape from Vichy France -where the Pétain government avoid occupation only by utter collaboration- to the US, and for lack of a better volunteer personally sets out in search of them. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt personally overcomes the reticence of the State Department. In Marseille he finds the people he specifically looked for, such as Marc Chagall, already housed by Harry Bingham, a Jewish US consulate official so he starts screening less obvious candidates and examines with Miriam Davenport and a German social democrat they pass for US clergyman Beamish how some can be rescued legally, others via a clandestine route, while colonel Joubert's State Police is at their trace...
He changed the world forever. One person at a time. The true story of the American Schindler.
Did You Know?
Near the beginning of the movie, Varian is holding the "Foreign Affairs" book differently depending on the camera angle. See more
...Not much time to react. But, react we must. What we do now, how we rise to the challenge will be how our children will judge us. The Darkness descending over Europe might keep the night for a thousand years. You ask me, Why the intellectuals? Because it is precisely the artists, poets, and writers who the Nazis hate the most for they are the keepers of the soul of Europe. The best of that civilization. If their voices be stilled, then who will sound the call to the rest of the world? You ask...