Family and Loyalty Drive the Emotional Historical Drama SONG OF NAMES
By Allyson Vannatta, Staff Writer
Director François Girard hopes his upcoming movie, THE SONG OF NAMES, will help younger generations remember the tragedy of World War II and the importance of family.
“The Holocaust is resting into oblivion with the young generations,” Girard said. “I was completely shocked.”
THE SONG OF NAMES is a period drama that stretches over 35 years beginning in the late 1930s. The movie follows Martin Simmonds who tries to find his childhood friend, Dovidl Rapoport. Rapoport disappeared before a concert in London in 1951.
The Simmonds family took in Rapoport, a Jew, in the 1930s to keep him safe from the Nazis, who were invading Poland at the time. Rapoport spent his childhood and a small part of his young adult life with the Simmonds. Throughout the war and after, Rapoport wants to know if his family of origin survived.
The movie is adapted from a book by the same name. Though the characters are fictional, the events are not. More than 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, died during the Holocaust.
“It’s shocking to see that people under 30 years old, like 50 percent, don’t even know what the word Holocaust means,” said Girard.
In addition to paying homage to the victims of the Holocaust, THE SONG OF NAMES is about family.
“This is where you come from, your family is everything,” said Girard.
Both Simmonds and Rapoport are fiercely loyal to their families, and it’s this loyalty that creates conflict throughout the movie. Though it appears that Rapoport may never be found, Simmonds refuses to lose hope and continues the search.
“[Rapoport’s] choices are, at times, very debatable,” the director said.
One pivotal decision “looks and sounds like a complete betrayal, and that’s what drives the movie.”
“Martin himself becomes almost a brother to Dovidl,” Girard said. “They have very much a brotherly relationship.”
THE SONG OF NAMES hits theaters on Christmas Day. Check back for Movieguide®’s® full review of the movie soon!
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