'Persona non Grata' movie screening & discussion

Join the Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Center for Jewish Civilization, the BMW Center for German and European Studies, and the Asian Studies Program for a screening of

Persona non Grata

a film based on the story about Diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who issued visas for Jewish refugees, saving 6,000 lives in the midst of WWII. The event will feature a discussion with Jacques Berlinerblau, Director of the Center for Jewish Civilization, Arthur Berger, former Senior Advisor on External Affairs of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Cellin Gluck, Director of the film, and Alyza Lewin, daughter of a Sugihara survivor.

This event is made possible by the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, the Embassy of Japan, and the Embassy of Israel.


About the film: Chiune Sugihara is known as the "Japanese Shindler" for saving 6,000 Jewish people from the Holocaust during WWII, however, it is virtually unknown that Sugihara was a masterful and rate "intelligence officer" for the nation. Proficient in foreign languages and intelligence work, he ventured into foreign lands despite the danger to himself, built a vast intelligence network in Manchuria and espionage hotspot Lithuania, analyzed world affairs, and sent information back to Japan.
Admist all of the espionage activities conducted at the time, why did Sugihara issue visas to the Jewish refugees? And where did the Jewish refugees go? Sugihara, who remained proud as a Japanese and never gave up hope even in the most perilous of situations, has inspired a star-studded cast and crew from both Japan and overseas. In the starring role is Japan's leading actor Toshiaki Karasawa. The cast also includes Koyuki, Fumiyo Kohinata, and other notable actors. To be presented to the whole world in this emotion-stirring epical movie, all scenes to be shot on location overseas, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

About Director Cellin Gluck:
Cellin Gluck grew up in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, and began his film career with Shuji Terayama's "China Doll" in 1980 then Ridley Scott’s “Black Rain” in 1988. While he specializes in producing/directing US-Japan co-productions, he continues to work as an assistant director on Hollywood productions, such as Michael Bay’s “Transformers” (2007,) Boaz Yakin’s “Remember the Titans” (2000) and Robert Zemeckis’ “Contact” (1997,) and production manager on films like “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005) and “Godzilla” (2014). He also directed US segments for Shinji Higuchi’s “Lorelei” (2005), and the “20th Century Boys” trilogy (2008-2009) by Yukihiko Tsutsumi as well as scripting and directing the US unit alongside Hideyuki Hirayama for “Oba: The Last Samurai” (2011). In 2009, he made his debut as a film director with “Sideways” (2009,) and “Persona Non Grata” is his second solo feature film.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Edward B. Bunn, S.J. Intercultural Center, ICC Auditorium, 2nd floor
37th and O St., N.W., Washington

Event Type

Special Events




Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Asian Studies, BMW Center for German and European Studies, Center for Jewish Civilization





Open to the public and the press?


Event Contact Name

Phoebe Koenigsberg

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Phoebe Koenigsberg

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