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"The Children of Chabannes"

Directed by Lisa Gossels
When all around them turned to hate, the people of one small village turned to their hearts.
Official Website


History, Human Rights, Religion, and Social Issues

A magical World War II tale of resilience and love, THE CHILDREN OF CHABANNES reveals the untold story of how the people in a tiny village in unoccupied France chose action over indifference to save the lives of 400 Jewish refugee children. Returning to the forgotten corner of France with her father and uncle (two of the saved children), filmmaker Lisa Gossels and co-director Dean Wetherell movingly recreate the joys and fears of daily life in Chabannes during the war. Through warm and wonderful accounts from the educators, townspeople and from the children themselves, we see how this oasis of hope is shattered in August of 1942, when the war reaches the doorsteps of the crumbling chateau where the children lived.

THE CHILDREN OF CHABANNES delivers a profound message of tolerance. The film documents the remarkable efforts made by the citizens of Chabannes, who risked their lives and livelihoods to protect these children, simply because they felt it was the right thing to do.

Running time
92 and 59 minutes


Production Details

Prod. Co.
Perennial Pictures, Inc. (now Good Egg Productions) and Weth
United States
Years of Production
1996 to 1999
France, U.S.

Distribution Details

Release year
Full Frame Doc FF, Human Rights Watch, Nantucket, Palm Beach, Seattle Intn'l, Mill Valley, Montreal Fest W Cin, Hot Springs Doc FF, Denver FF, Philadelphia, Ft. Lauderdale, Santa Barbara, DocAviv, Cleveland Int'l, Bermuda FF, St. Louis Intnl FF and more
Emmy Award (2001) and 10 film festival awards, including Nantucket (audience award), Spec Jury Prize, Avignon, Best Doc, Ft. Lauderdale, Human Rights Award, River Run FF, Films From Commitment, Wine Country FF and more
Now distributed by New Video/Docurama
Broadcast (Acq.)
HBO Signature, American Public Broadcasting
English, French
English, French

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