Saturday, October 24, 2015

Courageous Life of Irena Sendler: A Hallmark movie

fpoPerhaps you saw the 2009 Hallmark movie COURAGEOUS LIFE OF IRENA SENDLER which tells the story of the Warsaw social worker, who along with her co-workers, risked their own lives to save 2500 Jewish children.  Beginning with the premise that they were curbing the typhus outbreak within the ghetto and with Irena as ringleader, the women worked to sneak individual children out, then worked to place the children in Christian homes (mostly Catholic) and even in convents.  For the Jewish families, sending their children off was excruciating.  To begin with, few wanted to, so Irena began with the homeless street children.  As things became worse in the ghetto (Jews were allotted 300 calories per day, German soldiers near 3000, and nonJewish Poles 600), parents began to send their babies and children away with Irena promising that she would keep a secret record of each child's placement.  The underground in Poland heard of her work and helped with money and forged documents.  Later, she is arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for information about the underground.

In 2007, Irena Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  At the end of the movie is an emotional clip of Irena shortly before her death at age 98.  She says nothing about her courage or her actions; instead she asks that we remember those mothers who gave up their children to keep them safe and also those brave Polish women who mother the youngsters as their own, coming to love them and then later to return them to their surviving birth families.

I've been on a quest to watch some better television so I've started ordering movie dvds that I've heard about but never seen.  Lately I been picking Hallmark movies that I've never seen (and sometimes ones that I have seen but forgotten).  This is the best one I've seen all summer.  I watched it Thursday night when Russ was gone, and when I started to tell him about it on Friday, he said he would have watched it.  So I volunteered to watch it again, and we watched it last night.  Amazingly, I noticed a lot of little details the second time that I had missed during the first watching.  I've since found that the movie is based on the book Irena Sendler: the Mother of the Children of the Holocaust, and that there is also a YA book called LIFE IN A JAR which tells the story of three young girls in Kansas (Protestant) who learn about this amazing Catholic woman and begin a project to give this unsung heroine recognition. I believe I will read them.


Here is a link to a trailer of the movie  

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