DOXA Opening Film, Inside Hana’s Suitcase

by Kenji Maeda on May 17, 2009

Inside Hana's Suitcase

DOXA Documentary Film Festival is coming up in a matter of days.  The festival is opening on Friday, May 22 with a stunning new film called Inside Hana’s Suitcase, directed by Larry Weinstein.

One day Fumiko Ishioka, the coordinator of the Tokyo Holocaust Education Centre, received a battered suitcase with the name Hana Brady and the word ‘Waisenkind’ (orphan) painted on the front. Her quest to put a face to a name and an old suitcase took her to the Czech Republic, where Hana was born in 1931, in the small village of Nove Mesto.  When the Nazis invaded, Hana’s parents were imprisoned and she was sent to a concentration camp in the walled city of Theresienstadt. In secret art classes, held without the permission of the Nazi guards, children like Hana drew what they saw and what they remembered of life before the war.  These images of picnics, swaying trees, and people hold hands, prompted Fumiko to go even further.

Her search eventually led to Aushwitz, where Hana’s name was marked with a single check mark, meaning she had died at the camp. But just above Hana’s name, another name was inscribed: George Brady, who had survived the war. Not only had he survived, he was alive, well, and living in Toronto, with a passel of children and grandchildren of his own. George was Hana’s older brother.

The opening night film is screening at 7:30pm on Friday, May 22 at Empire Granville 7 Theatre (855 Granville Street, at Robson). The film will be followed by the opening night party at 9:30pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

For all program details, including ticket prices, passes, and screening venues, go to


I’m giving away two tickets to this opening night film, which includes entrance to the after party. To enter your name into the draw, email with the Subject Line “DOXA OPENING FILM”, and the following information:

1) Your full name, email, and phone number.
2) Complete the names of the three films below (Hint, Check the festival program):

  • a)  ______ Meets Borat
  • b) ______ Swing
  • c) Milking ________

Send your entries in by Wednesday, May 20 at 10:00am. Winner will be randomly drawn and contacted via email and/or phone.

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