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Film Festival: One Step to Freedom
February 19 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm| $11 - $13
Sunday, February 19
Director Level Sponsored Screening
One Step to Freedom [also titled The Grüninger File]
Director: Alain Gsponer
German with English Subtitles
The largely unknown story of the Swiss police captain who risked everything to save those fleeing the Nazi onslaught is grippingly dramatized in One Step to Freedom.
Swiss Academy Award-winning actor Stefan Kurt gives a dignified performance as the titular Paul Grüninger, the courageous Swiss official and sensitive family man who defied his superiors for the sake of humanity. In 1938, Switzerland responds to the Nazi annexation of Austria by closing its borders, a death sentence for thousands of Jewish refugees. Assigned to the border crossing, Grüninger puts his life and career on the line by allowing Jews to enter under cover of night without a valid visa, sometimes even falsifying their documents. His actions raise the suspicion of Swiss immigration authorities who launch an investigation into the illegal crossings. Dispatched to evaluate the evidence, ambitious young police inspector Robert Frei (Max Simonischek) faces a crisis of conscience. Will he disclose the truth and send Grüninger to prison, or shield his humanitarian actions?
This suspenseful and well-researched biopic rehabilitates the memory of a wartime hero hailed as the Swiss Oskar Schindler and honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. – The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
One Step to Freedom has screened (under its alternate title The Grüninger File) at Jewish film festivals in Atlanta, Boston, Westchester, and San Diego.