Shanghai Dream
A young German Jewish filmmaker escapes the Nazi threat in Shanghai, where he is forced to adapt to a new land and cope with familial loss through the magic of filmmaking.In 1938 Berlin, aspiring filmmaker Bernard Hersch works at the UFA studios and dreams of one day directing the screenplay he and his wife Illo are writing. But as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, Bernard faces increasing danger and discrimination, and is soon forced to accept deportation to Japan as his only hope. However, Illo, disconcerted at having to abandon her elderly father, leaves Bernard behind at the last minute and returns to Berlin, where she and her father are shot by the Nazis. Rerouted to China, a heartbroken Bernard struggles through grief and vows to bring his and Illo's screenplay to life as a tribute to her legacy. Along the way, he finds love in a city under siege. A distinctive and humanistic take on World War Two from the largely undocumented Chinese perspective.

Shanghai Dream Details

TitleShanghai Dream
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 30th, 2019
Rating
GenreHistory, Sequential Art, Comics, Nonfiction

Shanghai Dream Review

  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    Where do I start? *My heart.* "A powerful humanistic take on World War II from the largely undocumented perspective of the forced Jewish immigration to China." Something we don't hear too much about is the story of refugees who escaped to Shanghai to flee Nazi occupation. China was an alternative to America for refugees because it didn't require a visa for entry. And that's what young filmmakers, Bernhard and Illo, decide to do on the Night of Broken Glass. After securing their passage, Illo's f Where do I start? *My heart.* "A powerful humanistic take on World War II from the largely undocumented perspective of the forced Jewish immigration to China." Something we don't hear too much about is the story of refugees who escaped to Shanghai to flee Nazi occupation. China was an alternative to America for refugees because it didn't require a visa for entry. And that's what young filmmakers, Bernhard and Illo, decide to do on the Night of Broken Glass. After securing their passage, Illo's father stays behind because he doesn't have enough money. Circumstances lead to all three being seperated and Bernhard travels to Shanghai alone and endures more hardship. Can he keep his dream of becoming a director and making Illo's movie alive? Thirrault does a tremendous job of showing how Illo's movie script evolved to reflect Bernhard's challenges and compromises over time. I was gripped by the feelings of desperation, despondency, and downright heartbreak throughout the graphic novel. Miguel's impressive illustrations really brought it home for me. The drawings of people, buildings and cities have a 40s feel to it and is pleasant to look at. Switching back and forth between color and black and white - the reader can delineate what was part of the movie script and what was real life. I especially loved the depictions of Chinese characters because their features and mannerisms were authentic and real. The translation of the original text from French to English was excellent.On a minor note, I was disappointed that the book ended rather abruptly. It could have used a few more panels and pages for a smooth transition. Readers who don't know German, Chinese and Yiddish may have trouble understanding some pages. Overall, I would give the book a 4.5. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book through the publisher.
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