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Film screened in Sacramento highlights holocaust haven in Philippines

Film screened at Crest Theater highlights holocaust haven in Philippines
Film screened at Crest Theater highlights holocaust haven in Philippines 02:06

SACRAMENTO - An inspirational piece of history hit the big screen in Sacramento on Sunday. People gathered at the Crest Theater for the film "An Open Door." It highlights how hundreds of Jewish people found a safe haven during the holocaust in the Philippines.

"There's not too many of us left, so it's important to tell the story," said Susanne Sommer. 

Sommer knows the documentary shows a part of her history that's seldom told. She was only two years old when she escaped Nazi Germany with her parents. They were among hundreds who sought refuge in the Philippines.

"They didn't talk a lot about the horrors of it all, but we were grateful to go to Manila," Sommer told CBS13. 

"The hospitality that the Philippines and Quezon provided is pretty uncommon in this world but that the world needs more of, is inspirational," said Ralph Propper, whose family members also escaped Nazi Germany.

Derek Ledda helped organize the film's showing in Sacramento. One of his cousins was the director.   

"We are going to be stepping up to tell the nations please follow our example," said Ledda.

Ledda says the film comes at a critical time during war and unrest and promotes unity.

"All of us as individuals, and not as part of a government, need to step up to protect human life, human dignity and set an example for nations to follow," Ledda told CBS13.

The film, "An Open Door," is opening eyes to humanity in our history that some say is needed now more than ever.

"We always hope that it teaches hope and resilience. And that there's a lot of good people out there, despite of what we know," said Sommer. 

Before the screening, people also honored the film's director, Noel Izon, who recently passed away. It's the third film in his World War II trilogy, Forgotten Stories. 

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