Shanghai Ghetto

Rated 3.0 Documentarians Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann recount a strange, largely neglected chapter in the history of the Holocaust: a colony of European Jewish refugees who managed to make their way to Shanghai in the 1930s, where they lived in surprising freedom and safety, although in poverty and under increasing hardships as Japan invaded and World War II wore on. The film, told largely through interviews with survivors, suffers from a plodding construction and dry, monotonous narration by Martin Landau. Still, though the Manns’ treatment is uninspired, the story itself is fascinating. Besides, it’s noble work, getting the testimony of these people on the record before it’s too late, and many of the individual stories are unforgettably moving; the Manns deserve considerable credit for that.