Luckily, my friend Amanda was also intrigued and available, so the two of us sat alone eating dark chocolate in the well worn-in red seats of Richmond's Regent Theatre. That's right, just the two of us! Needless to say we gave each other our (often accurate) plot predictions out loud and had our feet up on the seat while we devoured, through tears, laughter and hands over our hearts, the shocking and moving account based on the best-selling novel by Tatiana De Rosnay of the Vel d’Hiv round up, which took place in Paris, in 1942.
This horrific event involved the arrest of the Jews who resided in the so-called City of Love. Sans the love, obviously. We cried as we watched these innocent people being treated worse than cattle; without sanitation, food, water or medical assistance for the ill. Babies were torn from their mother's desperate grip and siblings were separated, never to see each other again. The inhumane sufferings these civilians endured for no reason other than the ignorance and bigotry that hate crimes are born from was deeply upsetting and humbling to learn about.
The story is of a sister's devotion to her little brother's freedom. This young girl, Sarah's, courage is inspiring and serves as a reminder that amongst all the evil of the world, goodness prevails. Even a soldier forced to beat and imprison children was overcome by his compassion for Sarah and let her keep the apple thrown over the fence by some other child's mother and, more memorably, allowed her and another young girl escape by scrambling under the fence from the rancid concentration camp. A quote from little Sarah, that I later repeated to Amanda with glistening eyes and sincerity in my heart, was her last words to this kind man, "I will remember the apple forever".
And, Manda, I really will.