Italian Heritage Month Film Series “Perlasca: The Courage of a Just Man”
This film is based on the true story of Giorgio Perlasca (Luca Zingaretti), an Italian Fascist supporter in the 1920s who fought in Africa and in the Spanish Civil War. After some years, disillusioned by fascism, he worked in Budapest procuring supplies for the Italian army in the Balkans and lived an easy life among Hungarian high society. When Italy surrendered to the Allied forces, Italian citizens in Hungary were considered enemies of the government, which was allied with Germany, and were at risk of arrest and internment. Perlasca took refuge in the Spanish Embassy. Aware of the threat to Jewish people, he began to help them find shelter in Spanish safe houses. After the Spanish ambassador moved to Switzerland, Perlasca posed as the Spanish consul, tricking Nazi officials and saving the lives of more than 5,000 Jews in Hungary.