Weapons of the Spirit
The astonishing story of a unique conspiracy of goodness. During World War II, in and around the village of Le Chambon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered by 5,000 Christians.
This is a story filmmaker Pierre Sauvage was born to tell: born and protected in Le Chambon, he returned just in time to preserve the memory.
Defying the Nazis and the French government that was collaborating with the Nazis, the mostly Protestant villagers of the area of Le Chambon provided a safe haven throughout the war for whoever knocked on their door.
Â“The responsibility of Christians,Â” their pastor, AndrÃ© TrocmÃ©, had reminded them the day after France surrendered to Nazi Germany, Â“is to resist the violence that will be brought to bear on their consciences through the weapons of the spirit.Â”
There were many other uncelebrated individual and collective acts of goodwill and righteousness throughout the dark war years. But nowhere else did a persistent and successful moral consensus develop on a scale approaching what happened in the area of Le Chambon.
Released theatrically in 1989 in over 50 major markets, selected for over 20 film festivals, the highly acclaimed feature documentary was the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious DuPont-Columbia University Award in Broadcast Journalism.
President Barack Obama: "Not a single Jew who came there was turned away, or turned in. But it was not until decades later that the villagers spoke of what they had doneÂ—and even then, only reluctantly. 'How could you call us 'good'? they said. 'We were doing what had to be done.'"
Elie Wiesel: "If you wish to learn what more men and women could have done to save Jews, watch Pierre Sauvage's poignant documentary. It is superb!"
David Ansen, Newsweek: "An inquiry into the nature of goodness and a personal odyssey. Moving and provocative. Enormously uplifting. What an extraordinary story."
For more information: http://www.chambon.org