“Journey to the Sun” is now in cinemas

Jan 3, 2024 | News

Journey to the Sun, the documentary directed by Ansgar Schaefer and Susana de Sousa Dias, which had its world premiere at the IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, has finally arrived in Portuguese cinemas.

The idea for the film dates back to the 1990s, when Ansgar Schaefer was carrying out his doctoral research on Jewish refugees in Portugal during the Second World War and came across reports that thousands of children had been sent to Portugal at the time. He later realised that these children arrived in Portugal after the end of the war and were designated by the Estado Novo as “war refugees” as a form of propaganda. Ansgar Schaefer and Susana de Sousa Dias then went in search of these children to recover their memories and reveal their gaze. What did these children see? How did they experience the post-conflict period? What does this experience tell us about today?

As explained on the film’s official website, in order to reflect on children in conflict and post-conflict situations, the directors used “only archive images and testimonies of former Austrian children sent in the post-war period to Portugal, a neutral country during the Second World War” in order to establish “multiple resonances with today’s Europe”.

The film, which was first shown in 2021 and has since been shown at various festivals, has won awards at national and international festivals, such as the Festival de Cine Europeo (New Waves Best Non Fiction Film, 2022) or Porto/post/doc (Cinema Falado, 2022).



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