Fanny’s Journey

Based on Fanny Ben-Ami’s true story, Fanny’s Journey shows a thirteen year old girl who must lead her sister and friends out of WWII France into Switzerland. This powerful film captures childhood very naturally. The direction and acting are authentic and captivating.

Fanny and her sisters have been sent away from their parents to live in a boarding house that secretly protects Jewish children. When a priest informs on the boarding house, Madame Forman, one of the adults who run the place, manages to arrange for the children to go somewhere safer. She gets them all fake passports and schools them on what to say to anyone asking them questions en route. Each child is given a new name and Madame Forman tests them on them day and night.

From the start it’s touch and go. Germans are everywhere and Vichy French police are an equal threat. At first an older boy, Eli is in charge of the children, but after he’s arrested, Fanny’s thrust into the lead. She must figure out where to go and what to do next once their train is redirected and they lose touch with Madame Forman. As the going gets tougher and tougher the children feel like giving up and have plenty of complaints. Some are so young they have no idea why Jews must flee or what was happening to Jews throughout Europe. Their ignorance showed their wisdom.

The tension is maintained throughout the film and you’re heart will go out to these children. Fanny’s Journey is destined to be a classic.

In the final credits, you’ll see the real Fanny, who is still alive and has lived in Israel since the end of the war.

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Images - 427  14th July 2018

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompts features children and dogs. How delightful. Here’s some images from Flickr Commons.

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Internet Archives, St. Nicholas book, 1873

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Drummer Boy and Wolfhound, 1917, National Library of Ireland

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Girl with a dog, (n.d.) Oregon State Archives

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Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 410 Header

I thought I’d search the archives for children on St. Patrick’s Day.

For some vintage St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards, click here. I didn’t know there were cards sent for the holiday way back when. I’m happy to be wrong.

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March 17, 1924 from National Library of Ireland

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Parade in Sydney, 1940

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St. Patrick’s Day Pageant, 1937, Sydney

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Sydney, 1937

 

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12 Books of Christmas #2

off to bethlehem The children’s book Off to Bethlehem! by Dandi Daley Mackall is a breezy, poetic telling of the story of the nativity has endearing illustrations by R.W. Alley, though I was surprised how much older Joseph looks than Mary. (I guess he looks like he’s 40 while she’s a teen. There’s nothing I know of in the Bible about their age difference. I’d be happier with a younger Joseph. How about 20?)

Off to Bethlehem! is a great introduction or reminder of the reason for the season.

 

Taking Back Free Play

I do feel sorry for children today who’re over-programmed from an early age. I believe in organized activities and loved girl scouts, band, art classes and all, but I was also able to imagine, play with friends with little supervision and roam the neighborhood To Kill a Mockingbird style.

Now kids can’t roam.

Send a Beloved Child on a Journey

When I lived in Japan, I’d see very young children, some looking no more than 5 riding the train alone. It seemed like they were going to cram school or to a lesson. I admit I thought this was too young for children to be out alone, but after watching the video above and learning about the rationale, that the Japanese want to impart a sense of independence in their children and that after WWII parents couldn’t chauffeur their children to school, to rebuild quickly everyone had to work and pitch in. The kids pitched in by taking on the responsibility of getting themselves to school or accomplishing tasks outside the home.