MY NAME IS RONIA - THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS (WORKING TITLE)

By Judi BEECHER

BEECHER PRODUCTIONS - as PROD

Documentary - Production 2019

The Hidden Child- escape from the Nazi horror camps depending on the kindness of strangers to survive.

    • Year of production
    • 2019
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Historical, Jewish
    • Countries
    • FRANCE, GERMANY, SWITZERLAND, USA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, SWISS-GERMAN
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 76 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Judi BEECHER
    • Writer(s)
    • Judi BEECHER
    • Producer(s)
    • Judi BEECHER (Beecher Productions)
    • Synopsis

    • Ronia, a four year old German-Jewish child, is forced to leave her parents who go into hiding in the eaves of a French internment camp. To save her life, the O.S.E. (Organization to Save the Children) which was based inside the camp, smuggle young Ronia out to be hidden by the Swiss Red Cross for a year and a half in a French chateau. Ronia, at six-years old, is one of only two children, historically documented to escape... alone...in a very unusual manner across the French-Swiss border. A year later her parents also escape the camp, narrowly avoiding capture throughout their own 8 month journey to Switzerland, where they are reunited with Ronia.

      The film follows Ronia, now 80, as she embarks with her Jewish-American daughters on an emotional journey back to the past. Three major events occur which cause memories to come flooding back. First she sees families being separated at our own borders which triggers memories of her own separation.  Then through internet research she is contacted by a German Holocaust Historian who locates the original map her parents used to plot their escape. Finally, she listens to a thirty-year old recording of her father’s detailed account of her parent’s harrowing escape to freedom. These memories launch Ronia and her daughters on a road trip back to Europe to uncover her own past as a war prisoner and refugee in 1943 France and Switzerland. The women make surprising discoveries as they uncover the harrowing journey each of them took separately and together, to escape Nazi occupied Europe and make it safely to America.

      Ronia’s journey from past to present provides her with a new perspective as to how little kindnesses form ordinary people can change lives. We follow Ronia in present day as she brings her story around the world to diverse cultures and refugees some who may have experienced similar traumas. Reconciling with her past triggers an awakening which gives her an openness, a voice and a purpose to inspire and educate future generations so they can be a catalyst of positive change in the world. The documentary goes beyond telling a family story of adversity. The story is an uplifting one; it is one of hope, serendipity, and the heroic courage of many strangers. And it is, most of all, a story of kindness.