Assignment: Rescue

The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee

Narrated by Meryl Streep

Varian Fry, American hero, saved over 2000 refugees trapped in Vichy France, including Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, and Hannah Arendt.

rescuewebSummary: Assignment: Rescue is an exciting account of courage and dedication, the story of a young American’s successful efforts to save scores of endangered anti-Nazi refugees from the clutches of the Gestapo.

Varian Fry, a 32-year-old journalist with no experience in undercover activities, was sent to Marseilles in 1940 by the Emergency Rescue Committee. This unknown American soon became a veritable “Scarlet Pimpernel,” spiriting to safety nearly 2,000 intellectual and political refugees, including many of Europe’s most distinguished artists, writers, and scholars, among them Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, and Hannah Arendt.

“A wonderful story, well-told.”-Karen Cooper, Film Forum

“Impressive. I was moved by it. A heroic job.”-Erik Barnow, Author, History of the Documentary

“WE come to pay tribute to Varian Fry, a remarkable man and a remarkable America.  Regretfully, during his lifetime his heroic actions never received the support they deserved from our government, including, I also regret to say, the State Department.”-Warren Christopher, Former US Secretary of State

Key Credits: Directed and Produced by Richard Kaplan

Written, researched, and co-produced by Christina Lazaridi

Edited by Malcolm Jamieson

Narrated by Meryl Streep

Year/ TRT: 1997/26 min