Parents' Guide to

Fanny's Journey

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Brave children escape Nazis in suspenseful drama.

Movie NR 2016 94 minutes
Fanny's Journey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 10+

This should be required viewing for all kids 10 & older.

My 9-year-old & 11-year-old are not used to watching movies with subtitles but they were as enthralled from the start as I was. This is such a strong beautiful film.
age 12+

The courage of all who resisted the Nazis is the main message here.

The children were marvelous ..really great acting from all. The adults were believable , but I think it would be scary for young children to see the “monsters” ,since they were real. Some of the scenes with the children running away on their journey could have been a little shorter. Having escaped the Nazis myself as an almost10 year old, I was very moved by this film and could imagine myself in their place…how terrible it was for them.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (4 ):

This movie is a gripping and intensely moving rendering of the true story of the childhood escape of Fanny Ben-Ami, who lost both her parents during World War II and now lives in Israel. Leonie Souchaud admirably plays Fanny as a serious, responsible child who accepts that whining about unfairness, hunger, and exhaustion are luxuries she and her escaping group cannot afford if they want to survive. Director Lola Doillon invited the real Fanny to the movie's set during filming, and perhaps her connection to the reality of the story is the reason Fanny's Journey resonates with truth.

When Fanny and the other children, including a few 6-year-olds, are rushed from a compromised safe haven to another, the headmistress of the new school, played by Cecile de France, is openly annoyed. She was promised that "no small children" would be sent to her. Her concern about caring for small kids who are actively longing for their parents and might not understand their situation doesn't stop her from doing all she can to save them, but that quick moment conveys the dangers such brave people faced as they worried about whether young ones could remember their new non-Jewish names when questioned by authorities. Younger children may find the story too intense. Listen for an achingly beautiful rendition by a children's choir singing the Yiddish folk song "Tumbalalaika."

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