The Consul of Bordeaux by Francisco Manso and Joao Correa; produced by Jose Mazeda (Portugal, 2011, 82 min.). Manso’s second feature tells the true story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portugeuse consul who saved 30,000 people from Nazi persecution by issuing visas for safe passage to Portugal during WWII, defying the direct orders of his government.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Alexandra Schmidt, a Portuguese journalist who travels to Viana do Castelo to interview the great conductor Francisco de Almeida, who is soon to retire. She confronts de Almeida about his real name, Aaron Apelman, which is omitted from official biographies. The journalist’s curiosity sparks the maestro to recall events that occurred in June 1940, when at the age of ten he was give a new name and saved from Nazi persecution by the actions of Aristides de Sousa Mendes.
A SPIA Media Productions, Inc. release.
Followed by a discussion with filmmakers Francisco Manso and Claire Andrade Watkins.