MY ITALIAN SECRET: THE FORGOTTEN HEROES (2014 Hampton International Film Festival East Hampton Long Island, New York USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating—3.8|5.0 Starsììì

My Italian Secret needs to be told. While history repeatedly condemns the Catholic Church for silence during Jewish population deportation to Germany during World War II, this documentary refreshingly shows that there were individual Catholic communities, convents, and nunneries who served human duty by attempting to protect Jewish individuals during this traumatic time. The documentary also details the efforts of professional bicyclist Gino Bartali to transfer forged identification papers to help Jewish individuals escape death concentration camps as well as the efforts of Dr. Giovanni Borromeo to hide Jewish individuals in a special hospital ward. This film is not as well organized as some documentary films and seems to lack strength in presentation. The script needs a rewrite for deeper emotional impact so that the audience feels the pain and trauma of that period. Musical scores could have been used to higher advantage in the film to create deeper impact. Kudos to Director Oren Jacoby for adding several more accounts of persons who acted rightly during a time when the choices between preservation of one’s own family and that of another became morally challenging.

Storyline

This historical documentary focuses on the efforts of some Catholic Churches, persons in authority, and one professional athlete to preserve Jewish lives during World War II by hiding them and/or providing forged identifications to leave German-occupied Italy.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Oren Jacoby for his efforts in directing. Thank you to Narrators Isabella Rossellini and Robert Loggia. Thank you to appearances by: Giorgio Goldenberg, Charlotte Hauptman, and Andrea Bartali.

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. The documentary lacks cohesion and organization. But, it is worthy historical information that needs review.

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Ben Meyers

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