An Open Door

SDSU history lecturer Bonnie Harris played a critical role in the making of the documentary.

Thursday, November 2, 2017
Noel Sonny Izon (Credit: GI Film Festival)
Noel Sonny Izon (Credit: GI Film Festival)
An important, yet little-known slice of history is coming to the big screen at San Diego State University. The SDSU Jewish Studies Program in partnership with the Department of History will screen “An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines,” a timely documentary depicting a previously unknown episode in the history of the Philippines.

The documentary tells the story of the rescue of destitute Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich in the late 1930s before the outbreak of WWII. Philippine President Manuel Quezon and U.S. High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt deliberately orchestrated refugee rescues in Manila by circumventing existing immigration laws. Their efforts resulted in the rescues of more than 1,300 persecuted Jews who were able to leave Europe and find a safe haven in the Philippines.

The film will be screened at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

“An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines,” produced by Philippine filmmaker and director Noel “Sonny” Izon, along with associate producer and SDSU history lecturer Bonnie Harris, has won a number of international awards, including Best Film at the International Humanitarian Awards in Bali, Indonesia; Best Documentary at the White Knight’s International Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia; Best Film in Science and Education at the International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema in Milan, Italy; and a Silver Medal at the 38th Annual Telly Awards in History.

Along with Harris and Izon, Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz of the Republic of the Philippines, will attend the screening at SDSU.

Complimentary parking is available in parking structure P3 on the sixth floor. For further information, visit
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