Inside Hana's Suitcase

2009, Documentary, 1h 28m

13 Reviews 2,500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Two children grow up in Czechoslovakia and endure extreme hardships for being Jewish.

Cast & Crew

Thomas Wallner
Screenwriter
Alexina Louie
Original Music
Alex Pauk
Original Music
Horst Zeidler
Cinematographer
David New
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Inside Hana's Suitcase

Critic Reviews for Inside Hana's Suitcase

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (3)

  • Documentary about young children learning the horrors of the Holocaust feels like an elaborate study aid.

    April 19, 2012 | Full Review…
  • It would be odd not to feel something about Hana and the Brady family, but "Inside Hana's Suitcase" feels more like a historical teaching aid than like a great movie.

    April 17, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A documentary saga of heartbreaking concentration-camp horrors, Inside Hana's Suitcase attempts to preserve Holocaust memories through frustratingly fractured means.

    April 17, 2012 | Full Review…
  • A film relating a story of the Holocaust is destined to provoke a number of adjectives, but "cloying" shouldn't be one of them.

    April 17, 2012 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • It's an amazing story, a tragedy that's explored with great sensitivity, and and transformed by the magic of hindsight.

    August 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • That's what art does -- it helps to shape the raw and often unbearable material of reality, into a symbolic story that takes on a life of its own. That is precisely what Inside Hana's Suitcase also does. It is a graceful and important film.

    August 22, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Inside Hana's Suitcase

  • Sep 20, 2013
    Imagine the best show and tell ever and you will have "Inside Hana's Suitcase" which starts when Fumiko Ishioka, an elementary school teacher in Japan, is loaned some artifacts from the Holocaust Museum. One of them is a suitcase once belonging to Hana Brady who was 11 when she was sent to a concentration camp. The curiosity of Fumiko's students leads her on a quest that will eventually bring her to the Czech Republic and Hana's surviving brother, George. As heartfelt as this documentary is, I think I might not exactly be the right audience for it, as it seems aimed mostly to children, who mostly narrate, in order to teach them about tolerance and the Holocaust, bringing it to a level they can understand without scarring them for life. Regardless of the audience, the dramatizations work better in recreating life in the concentration camps than before the war. Now, if only the documentary had been structured better, like maybe pulling a "Searching for Sugar Man" in following Fumiko first, and letting the suspense build, before filling in the rest of the story.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2009
    I saw this with Portia, a friend of mine, at the Victoria Film Festival a last year and have been itching to let people know about this fantastic film. The story of Hana Brady is one that transcends most other documentaries I've seen based on its simplicity and classic story-telling style. The stories of Hana, killed in Auschwitz as a girl, and her brother George are intertwined with that of Fumiko Ishioka, a Japanese school teacher who comes to possess Hana's suitcase. Driven by curiosity, she not only discovers Hana's fate, but also that of George's, who lives in Toronto. He visits her and her class, The Small Wings, to see and touch one of the most precious of Hana's belongings. This blending of past and present is captured in an interesting way, combining both candid interviews with fictional flashbacks. George's honesty and Fumiko's tireless drive are really captured well, as well as giving the audience an unprecedented glimpse into the life of a victim of the Nazis. From the magic tricks their father used to perform to the bottle full of a young girl's frustrations buried in the back yard, the film is incredibly intimate. Yet at the same time, it takes a global scale when Hana's story travels beyond the Brady's home in the Czech Republic to Japan to Canada and all across Europe. It's a tragic story, to be sure, but it's full of hope and loving memory. The music, I felt, really reflected all those tones, though it could be a bit overwhelming in certain scenes. The message comes through loud and clear: this must never happen again. Because Hana's story is only one of millions. What really made this film come alive for me was that after the screening, Larry Weinstein, the director, introduced us to George and his daughter, who had attended the premiere. I must admit, seeing him there after being given such a penetrating look into his suffering and his family, I broke down in tears, like many others. It was a complex mix of deep respect, gratitude, and pride in his courage. And it's a feeling I won't forget. I can only hope that Hana's and George's story will continue to touch lives as it has mine. EDIT: A comment from Mr. Weinstein himself! "What a nice review... thank you. Very few people have seen this film, so the audience reaction in Victoria was very meaningful to me (as was the documentary award that it won there). And so your comments are very much appreciated. LW"
    Jessica v Super Reviewer

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