"Persona Non Grata" Film Screening
The audacious true story of the Japanese diplomat who acted against orders to save thousands of Jewish lives from Nazi extermination gets a sweeping, big-screen treatment in the epic biopic "Persona Non Grata." Tracking events from 1934 to 1955, the film follows Chiune Sugihara from his early days in Manchuria to his posting as Japan's consul in Lithuania during WWII. Caught amid the rigid policies of Japan—now bound by a treaty with Nazi Germany—and his moral awakening, Sugihara put career and family at great risk by issuing transit visas to imperiled European refugees, helping more than 6,000 Jews escape to Japanese territory. The film's international cast includes Japanese Academy Award-winning actor Toshiaki Karasawa as the selfless wartime hero Sugihara, actress Koyuki ("The Last Samurai") as his loving wife, Polish actor Borys Szyc as his right-hand man, and Agnieszka Grochowska ("In Darkness") as Russian love interest Irina. Handsomely mounted by Japanese-American director Cellin Gluck, "Persona Non Grata" is long overdue recognition of Japan's Schindler, the only Japanese recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli government and honored at Yad Vashem. Prior to the screening, enjoy a reception and introduction to the film by the director. Sushi and sake will be provided by Sushi Ran. This event is sponsored by The Consulate General of Japan San Francisco, The Consulate General of Israel and AJC San Francisco.