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Jewish film festival features ‘Shanghai Ghetto’

OCEANSIDE — In 1939, thousands of Jewish refugees escaped Nazi persecution to the only place that was open to them. The international city of Shanghai was one of the few places that welcomed people without a visa or passport due to the lack of control by the warring French, British and Japanese colonial factions that ran Shanghai.
The documentary film “Shanghai Ghetto” tells of the formation of a small Jewish community of exiles in this exotic land, far from the comforts of their European culture. In partnership with the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, Oceanside Museum of Art will screen “Shanghai Ghetto” at 7 p.m. May 13 at 704 Pier View Way. The evening will begin with guest lecturer Scott Marks, film historian, who will provide an overview of the film addressing the surrounding historical context and will moderate a post-screening discussion.
The film tells the little known story of the Jewish refugees, their relationships with the local Chinese and with the occupying Japanese army, the attempts of the American Jewish community to help the refugees, the rich cultural life they constructed under great hardship, and the tragedy of their relatives who stayed behind in Europe. The film is narrated by Martin Landau. Music is by composer Sujin Nam recorded with Chinese Erhu performer Karen Han who played in “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and “The Last Emperor.” This program is supported by the Leichtag Family Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.
Terra catering will serve an Asian-themed dinner. Reservations are $25 at (760) 435-3720. For more information call the museum at (760) 435-3720.