London is to host the European premiere of a film chronicling the unlikely wartime rescue of 1,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied lands to the Philippines.
Quezon’s Game is named after the enigmatic Philippines president Manuel Quezon who hatched the rescue plan with five Jewish-American brothers from Cincinnati, as well as US diplomats and soldiers, including future US president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The film will premiere at the Troxy on 28 January as part of London’s Holocaust Memorial Day diary, and will feature a performance from Shulem Lemmer, the first Chasidic singer signed by Universal Records, who voiced the film’s soundtrack.
The story of the little-known rescue plan is set against a backdrop of cigar smoke and poker games, and was directed by Matthew Rosen, who spent his formative years as a member of Kenton United Synagogue.
Rosen has lived in the Philippines for 33 years, but only became heard of the story when his Filipino wife started singing Hava Nagila at a Bar Mitzvah in London, having grown up with the song as a child.
“The world knows about Oskar Schindler’s fight to save Polish Jews thanks to Schindler’s List,” he said.
“My sincere hope is that Quezon’s Game will reawaken our collective memory about the rescue of Jewish refugees to the Philippines and the acts of moral courage that made this remarkable true story possible.”