Most of us have heard of Schindler’s List, but how many of us know about the shiploads of German and Austrian Jews who were rescued in the Philippines beginning in 1935, when most other nations turned them away? Filipino filmmaker Noel Izon, who owes his life to a German Jewish refugee, sets out to document the story of Jewish rescue in the Philippines in his new film, An Open Door.
“It is my hope, & indeed my expectation, that the people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was glad to extend to a persecuted people, a hand of welcome.” - Manuel Quezon, President of the Philippine Commonwealth, April 23, 1940
Noel Izon, an independent filmmaker based in Hyattsville, MD. Over the past four decades, he has won many national awards for his work. An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines is the third in his trilogy of forgotten World War II stories.