Release date:April 18, 2012
Based on the best-selling book Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levinen. In those times of darkness and death, objects too had memories to share and stories to tell. This moving Odyssey of a young Jewish girl’s suitcase from Auschwitz to Tokyo is one of them. Follow Larry Weinstein's moving and absorbing film evocation and, like amazed Japanese children, you will learn essential lessons about pain and compassion. And above all, about the power of memory. In 1999, Fumiko Ishioka, director of the Tokyo Holocaust Museum, visited Auschwitz. Shaken to the core by her direct experience with the site, she asked for materials to help Japanese children understand the Holocaust. The delivery of a simple, battered suitcase to Fumiko ignited international curiosity in the true-life mystery about one little girl that unfolds in this beautifully crafted and meticulously researched film. The suitcase came from the Auschwitz Museum and was crudely painted with the words “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931,” and “Waisenkind,” the German word for orphan. Larry Weinstein's masterful documentary work follows Fumiko's search to discover the details of Hana's life, leading to the discovery of her living brother George in Toronto. As small children Hana and George had been sent to the Terezin concentration camp after the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939. After each was transported to Auschwitz, George survived but his little sister Hana did not. This is their story, told through the voices and innocent perspectives of modern day children in the Czech Republic, Canada and Japan who unravel Hana’s mystery for themselves in this one-of-a kind homage to the astonishing power of artifact and history.