a reason to smile

Holocaust Museum of Houston celebrates bravery over hate with gripping free film screening

Holocaust Museum of Houston honors the brave with free film screening

Life Will Smile documentary film movie
Holocaust Museum Houston will present the documentary Life Will Smile.   Life Will Smile/Facebook

At a time when intolerance — and even blatant antisemitism — are on the rise, a local institution is celebrating those who bravely stood up to hate. Holocaust Museum Houston will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, January 27, with a free admission to the museum (5401 Caroline St.), from 10 am to 5 pm.

Including in the evening is a virtual screening of the documentary Life Will Smile. The film reveals the little-known story of the small Greek island of Zakynthos, where its citizens bravely protected all 275 of their Jewish neighbors during World War II — at the height of Adolf Hitler’s insidious “Final Solution” in Europe.

The citizens of Zakynthos were led by two men: Bishop Chrysostomos and the mayor of Zakynthos, who were honored by Yad Vashem (Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust) in 1978 as “Righteous Among the Nations.” The documentary is narrated by one of the Jewish survivors of Zakynthos, 84-year old Haim Konstantini.

Following the movie screening, Her Excellency H. E. Alexandra Papadopoulou, the Greek ambassador to the United States, will join in the event live from Washington, D.C. at 6:30 pm to discuss current-day Greece. The first woman to assume the Hellenic Republic’s diplomatic representation to the United States, Papadopoulou is completing her first year in D.C., per a press release.

Registration and more information on the film screening and program is available online.

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day in effort honor the millions lost in the Holocaust.