A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Selflessness is sometimes rewarded, but some good people die because they felt the need to do the right thing. Many ordinary people show unusual courage and think risking their lives to help others is the right thing to do.
Positive Role Models
Although she's only 13, Fanny is selected by the adult helping her escape the Germans to take charge of a group of nine children. Fanny displays unmistakable intelligence, responsibility, and leadership qualities. Fanny risks her life to save a fallen younger child, while older, frightened kids look on. German soldiers and French police relentlessly pursue Jews to send them ultimately lto their death. Many conscience-stricken Christians risk their lives to help Jewish children escape danger.
Violence & Scariness
Germans soldiers shoot at escaping children. French police officers hold Jewish children without food or water, pressing them to inform on adults who tried to help them. The threat of death follows the children as they try to escape to neutral Switzerland, where they will be safe from the Nazis. The bodies of hanged resistance soldiers are seen. Children walk on through no-man's-land hungry, thirsty, and exhausted.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fanny's Journey focuses most of its 94 minutes on the courage and ingenuity of a group of children fending for themselves as they hide from Germans during World War II. The film applauds the resourceful Jewish children but also the many Christians who tried to help save them along the way. Never far from the surface is the violent threat of armed German soldiers and their French collaborators looking for Jews. Germans soldiers shoot at escaping children. French police officers hold Jewish children without food or water, pressing them to inform on adults who tried to help them. The bodies of hanged resistance soldiers are seen. Children walk on through no-man's-land hungry, thirsty, and exhausted. The movie will present great opportunities for discussions about World War II and the ugliness and ignorance at the heart of prejudice. Although the primary actors range from 6 to around 12, younger viewers may find the suspense and danger too intense. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.