Miracle at Moreaux (1985) - full transcript

A French Catholic boarding school allows three Jewish children to take refuge at Christmas during the Nazi occupation.

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- The bridge.

That means we're very close.

- Are you okay, Anna Bird?

- I'm sorry, I can't.

I won't make it.

It's been over two days.

- The border is very close.

You'll be out soon.


You can hide here, I'll
go find us some food.

- No, we'll go with you.

- Down!

- Andre, Phillippe?

We're going to need more chairs.

And you may have them from my study.

And that still needs
sweeping out, by the way.

So don't forget that.
- When will they be here?

- Now, we have final
checks, there's lots to do.

Bedrooms, the dining room.

Just set them up right here, good.

- When will they be here?

- Soon, Priscilla, soon.

No playing football in the house.

Yes, Louis.

I don't want to be Jesus.

- Louis, your parents
are coming all this way

and think of how proud they'll be

to see you as little baby Jesus.

And Dominique made you
that wonderful costume.

It's a diaper.

- I'll be back soon.

Anna, it's all right.

- Anna, it's okay.

I'm here.

- Daniel.

Where are we going?

Where are we going?

- The pass.

Moreaux Pass, the stone house.

- Good, good.

It's okay.

- Excellent.

All of you, much, much better.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

- Two days.

We'll be playing by a fire.

Sleeping in a bed.

Pillows and clean,
white sheets, Anna Bird.

Less than two days.

- I don't want to be Jesus.

- What do you mean?

Mother and Father are coming
all this way to see you.

Aren't you happy about that?

- Hope they don't bring
me a book this year.

- Okay, you run and play now.


- You're stealing from children.

- I'm stealing for children.

They're starving.

I'm only taking what they need, no more.

- Sister Gabrielle,
it's Sergeant Schlimmer.

Sergeant Schlimmer's here.

- Go tell him I'll be right out.

Go on, go on, Dominique.

- How come you have one of those?

How come you don't have a machine gun?

- I don't know.

- Neither do I.

Can I have it?

- It's not a toy, you know.

go play with the others.

- Merry Christmas, Sister Gabrielle.

And to you, Sergeant.

- Children seem well.

- Very well, thank you.

- There have been some
incidents in the area.

It's delicate, you know?

So close to the border.

As a precaution, the roads will be closed

to all civilian traffic.

- The children are
expecting their parents.

- It's for their own protection, Sister.

There are many dangers.

The Jews, of course, the resistance.

You understand.

- Sister Gabrielle, Major Braun.

The new Gestapo chief for the area.

- Major.

- Major Braun will be
working with us for awhile.

- Sister Gabrielle!

Sister Gabrielle?

Give us back the ball.

Louis, give us back the ball.


Sister Gabrielle!


Don't let them get away.

There he is!

- Stop up there.
- There he is.

Shoot, quickly, shoot!

Search him for papers.

- Fortunate we were here.

The man was stealing your food.

- Patrice, how many times have I told you

not to play in the woods.

Look at you, you're just covered with mud.

- Sister Gabrielle.

You should keep the doors locked.

Otherwise, it's not safe for the children.

- Yes, everyone, come inside.

Dominique, come inside, everybody.

Dominique, come.

What's your name?

That's all right, you
don't have to have a name.

Are you alone?

I'm going to leave you here for a minute.

I'll be right back with
some clean clothes.

We saw a terrible thing today.

Our prayers are with the young man.

His death reminds us that there is a war.

And that people's lives
are in danger every day.

And we're here safe.

- Why can't we just go home?

- Is she gonna stay?

She doesn't even talk.

- She's probably deaf.
- She's not deaf.

She can hear you.

She's a Jew.

And when the Nazis find out she's here,

they'll kill all of us.

- Dominique!

That's enough.

- Daniel, let's just leave.

What if they're waiting for us?

- I can't go without my sister.

- What about the pass?

- We still have another day.

- We'll never make it in time.

- Sabine, you go ahead.

- Alone?

No, no, I can't.

I don't know how to find the path.

And the stone house.

- Can't leave without my sister.

- I know this isn't the
Christmas we planned.

I know we had hoped that
your parents would be here.

But we can still have our Christmas

and our Christmas pageant.

We're here together and we're safe

and we can thank God for that.

Andre, say grace.

- In the name of the Father and of the Son

and of the Holy Ghost.

Bless us, Lord, and these thy gifts

which we're about to
receive from my bounty

through Christ our Lord, amen.

- Amen.
- Amen.

- Now eat, all of you.

Pass the bread.

- Anna, Anna.

We're going to the stone house.

It's somewhere near the border.

Can you tell us how to get there?

don't know this place.

- It's near the border.

We have less than a day
to meet someone there.

- The woods are very dark.

You'll get lost if you don't
know where you're going.

There are patrols.

The roads are blocked.


The children should be in bed.

- Come on, everybody,
you heard what she said.

Get to bed!

Hurry up and lights out.

- We have to get going.
- Come on, come on.

- No, no, not tonight.

You will put your things down here.

You'll stay here for a moment.

I'll get some blankets.

- What do you think you're doing?

Get back here.

Now listen to me, Louis.

I don't want you to go anywhere near them.

Do you understand? Ever.

They steal Christian babies, Louis.

That's what they do.

- Dominique.

- It's true.
- Just go while we can.

- You heard what she said.

We'll never find it in the dark.

- Stole a baby and
killed it for its blood.

A little baby boy.

- Really?

- Lucky it wasn't you, Louis.

- I'm getting out of here, Daniel.

- Sabine, you can't go out there alone.

I won't let you.

- They mix the blood with their wine

and then they drink it.

It's part of their religion.

All the Jews do it.

- I don't believe you, Dominique.

- I don't care what you believe, Jeanette.

It's true.

- Sister Gabrielle says
that Jesus was a Jew.

- So were Mary and Joseph.

- That's a lie, Andre.

- They're here, the
soldiers are coming back.

- Major.

- Good evening.
- Good evening.

May I come in?

- Yes, of course.

- Thank you.

My apologies for interrupting
your Christmas, Sister.

It was an unfortunate
incident this afternoon.

I imagine the children were upset.

Yes, yes.

Indeed, they were very upset.

- Perhaps you would allow
me to apologize to them.

- They've just gone to bed.

Perhaps another time.

- Louis.
- Andre!

What are you doing?
- Get up here right now.


- They're very naughty.

I'll only be a minute.

they really should be asleep.

It's very late, you know.

- You must like it here, so peaceful.

- Andre, Phillippe, Dominique, all of you.

- The mountains, the lake.

Away from the war.

Hello, everyone.

Say good evening, Major.

Good evening, Major.

- Good evening, Major.

- You're not afraid of me, are you?

What happened this afternoon
could not be helped.

I'm sorry.

And what's your name?

- Louis.


You want to be a soldier when you grow up?

- I don't know.

- Good boy.

And what's your name?

- Anna Theresa Dominique Delom.


Sister Gabrielle tells me you're having

a pageant for Christmas.

- We're supposed to.

- And we still will.

Say goodnight to the Major.

All right, children, to bed now.

Perhaps you'd like to see

our little Christmas pageant, Major.

Yes, I would be honored.

- The honor will be ours.

- I will try, Sister, I will try.

- Say goodnight to the Major.

Goodnight, Major.

- This way, Major, I'll see you out.

- They know.

- Now, children, come.

Come, come.

You'll be safe here.

- I think we've put you in danger.

- Here, make your beds, rest.

We'll know better in the morning.

- May we keep the candle?

Anna's scared of the dark.

I think she's afraid of her dreams.

Thank you.

- Sleep.

- Thank you.

Thank you very much.

- Sleep.

- We should never have come here.

Now what are we gonna do?

- What choice is there?

We have to trust somebody.

- Are we gonna keep them here?

- I don't know, Jeanette.

I've opened our doors to them

because it was the right thing to do.

I'm not asking you to like them.

I'm not asking you to be their friends.

I'm asking you to understand.

I want you, each and every one of you,

to put yourselves in their place.

The Jewish children are
in terrible trouble.

- Why?

- Sometimes I think it's
because people are afraid

of what they don't understand.

- Dominique says that they drink

the blood of Christian babies.

Sleep, Anna Bird.


- What is the matter with you, child?

You're the eldest, the younger
children look up to you.

You set an example.

How could you say such things?

- It's true.

My parents told me all about the Jews.

It's all true.
- They're children, Dominique.


And I will not have you
spread these horrible lies.

Do you understand that?
- It's not my fault.

You're the one who brought them in here.

You're the one who let those Jews in here.

- What do you know of the nun?

- She's a nun.

A teacher, not a zealot.

The children are from Toulouse, Leon.

Their parents, I guess,
feel they're safer here.

Away from the bombs.

Normally there are more

local children at the school,

but most are home for the holidays.

- The young man

was with her in the school.

Resistance, most likely.

- How do you know?

- He was alone in an occupied zone.

No identification, and he was armed.

Come in.

- Excuse me for interrupting, Major.

These were discovered
on the dead man's body.

They were found in the
lining of his jacket.

Passports, Major, Spanish passports.

Thank you.

- It's cold.

I thought you might need this.

- Come in.

It's all right, you can come in.

Thank you.


I thought you might've
needed another blanket.

- Thank you.

- Andre.

- Andre.

I'm Daniel.

This is Anna and Sabine.


- She has to go to the bathroom.

- She'll be all right.

You're all brothers and sisters?

- No.

We would've
been opening presents by now.

By the fire.

- Last year, my parents gave me

a dictionary for Christmas.

Haven't opened it yet.

- I could go home now like the others,

if I wanted to.

It's only 20 minutes to town.

- Why don't you go?

- What for?

It's better here.

- Everybody came to our house.

My cousins,

my Uncle Henri from Leon,

the Bellevues from across the street.

They didn't have any children.

I miss everyone.

- I have an uncle in Barcelona.

- Where's your family?

- They took my parents when
Anna and I were in school.

We got out through a
friend of Sabine's family.

We hid in a chicken coop for 10 days.

- What happened to them?

Your parents.

- I don't know.

We're supposed to meet them in Spain

when the war's over.

- Sabine, what about yours?

Did I say something wrong?

- Sabine's family were
taken with a dozen others.

Out in the street.

They were shot.

Sabine saw.

She saw it.

I'm so sorry.

- I'm lost.

- Anna Bird.

- The man who was shot today,

was he a friend?

- He was taking us to the border.

We have a contact there.

A pastor.

We're supposed to meet him there tomorrow.


He knows how to get us across.

- What will you do?

- I don't know.

- Daniel.


- Anna Bird.


I forgot.

It's the seventh night.

- The seventh night?

- Hanukkah, it's a holiday.

It's the Festival of Lights.

- Is it for your religion?

- Tell us.

- There was this war against the Jews.

2000 years ago.

They were slaughtered for
what they believed in.

For who they were.

Their holy temple was taken over

and the eternal light,

which is supposed to burn
forever, was put out.

So the Jews rose up

and took back their temple.

But even though they were outnumbered,

they still succeeded.

They re-lit the eternal light.

But there was only
enough oil for one night.

And do you know what happened?

- It kept burning and
burning for eight nights.

- And then?

- Gave people hope.

- I'm sorry I struck you.


I know you're only behaving this way

because you're frightened.

I'm frightened too.

- What we'll need are trackers.

You can direct them from the school.

First we'll give the Jews a few days.

- You're certain they're in the school.

- Where else would they be?

Three pieces of luggage, three children.

I suspect the others
are not going on holiday

with the roads closed.

- Then why not just take them?

- If they're crossing into Spain,

they will have an arrangement
with the resistance there.

A contact.

It is possible he is the
man we're looking for.

If we follow, we'll get all of them.

- And if they stay with the nun?

- Then we'll go in and get them.


- It's a cold morning.

- Best to stay inside.

Children are sleeping?

- Yes.


- Good.

My daughter sent a card.

A Christmas note.

Mail's being what they
are, it's a miracle.

- How sad not to be spending
Christmas with your family.

- Children.

They don't know.

They suffer for what we do.

- Perhaps we don't do enough for them.

- I've been sent to watch you, Sister.

- I had a dream last night.

I dreamt I could fly.

I dreamt I could fly over the mountains.

And Mama was there.

But she couldn't see me.

Maybe the
soldiers won't come back.

They'll be
back, the Major knows.

Well, what are we gonna do?

What if we hide them somewhere?

- Where?
- The soldiers will find them.

Well we've got
to get them to the border.


Andre can take them.

He knows where it is.

- It's very dangerous.

- I could take them through
the woods, I know the way.

I've been to the stone house.

- No, Andre.

She's right, it's too dangerous.

Just tell us where we're supposed to go.

- They know we're here.

Why don't they just come in and get us?

- Maybe they want you to go.

- Why?

- I don't know.

- The pastor?

- Yeah, yeah, the contact,
whatever he's called.

The one who's supposed to
bring them to the border.

- If we're not there before
sunset, he'll be gone.

- We can't stay, we can't leave.

- I have an idea.

- I want to be in constant radio contact.

If they move, let me know.

Tell your men to be discreet.

But they mustn't lose the children.

- Yes, sir.

- If only we had more time.

I'm responsible for you.

- We must try.

- It's a good plan.

It's just very, very risky.

- I'll go with them.

Please, Sister?

It's the only right thing to do, isn't it?

- Yes.


- It's a mezuzah, for
protection and safety.

We put it by the doors of our houses.

Here, little Anna Bird.

It's our St. Christopher.

He'll protect you.

All right, children, quickly a prayer.

The Lord is my
shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me into paths of righteousness

for his namesake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in this presence of mine enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil,

my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the
house of the Lord forever.


Are you gonna be okay?

- Daniel, go slow.

You have to give us time to get there.

- It's time.

May God be with you.

Hurry, children, hurry.

- Let's go.
- Come on, quickly.

- Wait, wait, wait.


There's a soldier.

We're running out of time.

We'll never make it.
- I know.

- I got an idea.

- It's heavy.
- Yes, I know.

Be strong with me, come on.

Come on.
- Think I'm losing my beard.

That's all right.

Tree is more important now.
- It's not all right.

Careful, careful.

I have it.

No, careful, Phillippe.

You're gonna hurt this poor man.

I'm so sorry.

Do you mind?

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

Thank you.

- We have them, they're moving east.

I knew it.

- Sabine.
- Let's just go back.

- Sabine, we can't go back.

- Shouldn't they be here by now?

- I don't know.

- We still have them, Major.

They're headed for the river.

Sergeant Schlimmer should
have them in sight soon.

They're heading back West, Major.

- West?
- I think they're going

back to the chateau.

- All right, stay with them.

They're going back to the chateau.

They followed
us, Sister, they're outside.

- Hurry.

Quickly, Louis, we must get you changed.

But wait, Louis.

Get back here.

Louis, you must.
- This is the worst

Christmas I ever had.

- Where's the nun?

- Major, how nice.

You've come to see our pageant.

- Sister, do you know
what the consequences are

for harboring Jews?

- Yes, I think so.

- Charming.

The Three Wise Men who traveled far.

And you must be baby Jesus.

- Yes.

- Louis.

You want to help Major Braun, don't you?

Do you know where the Jews are?

- Major, ask me anything you wish,

but please don't interrogate the children.

- Louis?

- Yes.

I know where they are.

She's a Jew, he's a Jew, and I'm a Jew.

- It's the holy family.

They were Jews, you know.

Enough, Sister.

Where are they?
- Major.

I've searched for them everywhere.

They're not here.

There's no evidence of them, Major.

Perhaps we were mistaken.

Major, do whatever it is

you feel you must,

but please let my children
have their Christmas.

- Sister Gabrielle says they'll be

opening the roads tomorrow.

I guess you'll be happy
to see your parents?

- Andre.

The Nazis aren't gonna
stop looking for Jews.

I'm frightened for them.

- We did what we could.

- Yesterday, I didn't know who they were.

I was afraid.

I wanted to turn them in.

It would've been my fault.

- Dominique, it's out of our hands now.

- Andre, Dominique.


Look what we found.

The Hanukkah candle from last night.

It's still burning.

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