A Year That Mattered


A Year That Mattered explores how and why a New York intellectual named Varian Fry led the most successful private American rescue effort of the Nazi era, becoming the first American honored by Israel as a Righteous Gentile. In Marseille, in Nazi-occupied France, in 1940-41, Fry and his team helped to save some 2,000 people—many of them among the creative luminaries of Europe: Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Hannah Arendt, and many others.

Phase of Support: Post-Production

Project Links

Pierre Sauvage

Pierre Sauvage - Director and Producer

Pierre Sauvage is an Emmy-winning French/American documentary filmmaker. A child survivor of the Holocaust who only learned that he was Jewish at the age of 18, Sauvage is best known for his 1989 feature documentary Weapons of the Spirit, being reissued in 2022 in a newly remastered edition. That highly acclaimed documentary tells the story of the “conspiracy of goodness” of a mountain community in France that defied the Nazis and took in and saved thousands of Jews, including Sauvage, who was born there. Described by Tablet Magazine as “a filmmaker of rare moral perception,” Sauvage, also a lecturer and a former film scholar, is the founder and President of the nonprofit Chambon Foundation. Three other documentaries by Sauvage will be released or re-released in 2022: Not Idly By—Peter Bergson, America and the Holocaust, Yiddish: the Mother Tongue, and We Were There: Christians and the Holocaust.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.