A Jewish Girl in Shanghai

Director: Wang Genfa
China 2010 80 Minutes
Language: Mandarin (English subtitles). Shanghai Animation Film Studio

A Second World War story unlike any other: Wu Lin’s groundbreaking Chinese-language graphic novel about the Holocaust, adapted into breathtaking traditional animation by the hugely respected Shanghai Animation Film Studio, tells the little known tale of Shanghai’s “Little Vienna”, where some 30,000 Jewish refugees sought shelter during the war years.

This delicately rendered family film centres around the warm friendship between Rina, a wide-eyed European Jewish schoolgirl and A-Gen, a Chinese pancake seller, who teach each other about their distant worlds as Shanghai struggles beneath its own cruelly portrayed Japanese occupation. Cared for by a local family, Rina and her younger brother Michaeli adapt quickly to Shanghai life, until a sudden event throws the precarious balance of their lives into question once again.

With its unusual combination of beautifully drawn animation and a rarely heard perspective on the wartime experience, this charming, naïve film will keep audiences of all ages utterly engrossed. (Jonathan Walton)

Sat 20/11/2010 - 19:00   Tricycle