Besa: The Promise
About The Film
The heroism of Albanian Muslims who risked their lives to rescue some 2,000 Jews during WWII is brought to light in BESA: THE PROMISE.
Following the lead of their exiled king who had granted asylum to Jewish refugees, many Albanian Muslims gave their sacred oath (“besa”) to provide shelter from the Nazis. Linking past and present, American photographer Norman H. Gershman embarks on a lone crusade to find and photograph those benevolent and brave citizens who opened their homes to Jews. His journey intersects with Albanian shopkeeper Rexhep Hoxha who tirelessly searches for the Jewish family saved by his father decades earlier. Striking photographic portraits, exquisite animation, rare archival footage and poignant interviews are blended with award-winning cinematography and an original score by minimalist composer Philip Glass.
A riveting examination of a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, BESA: THE PROMISE reveals the forgotten ties between presumed adversaries and the power of compassionate people to transform the world.
Film DetailsDirector: Rachel Goslins
Language: Albanian, English, Hebrew, Italian, Macedonian, Spanish with subtitles
Running Time: 86 min.
Subjects: Holocaust, Muslim, World War II