Fanny’s Journey – Film Review

Fanny’s Journey is based on the true story of Fanny Ben Ami, who was 11 years old when she and several other Jewish children had to flee to Switzerland to escape the Nazis. When the adults who are leading their flight do not make a rendezvous, she is forced to take responsibility for the safety of her group.

Fanny's Journey - MSPIFF

Fanny’s Journey – Image courtesy of the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

Fanny’s Journey- Review

By far, my favorite movie of the festival, Fanny’s Journey is recommended for ages 12+ because it is intense. As an audience, we know Fanny survives, because she survived the war to write her memoirs and advise on this film. We don’t have that guarantee about anyone else. We were on the edge of our seats for a good portion of this film.

We both came out of this film wanting to read the book it is based on. Unfortunately, I do not believe its been translated from French to English. Maybe it will be now.

My 11-year-old daughter was excited going into this film more than any of the others. She really enjoys WWII historical novels, and she particularly likes strong female characters around her own age. Fanny provided both these things, and it did not disappoint. She rated it 5 out of 5 when she came out of the theater. However, at the end of the festival, she chose a less intense movie as her favorite. It gave me pause to wonder if we push too much on our kids too soon. Maybe she would be better off with fairy tales for awhile longer.

This was an emotionally challenging movie. I can’t even tell you how important the dialogue is to the film because I was too caught up in the story. At any rate, I don’t think it is appropriate for younger kids (even if it was the true experiences of younger kids). This film is best for older children who enjoy exciting films. The acting is outstanding, the scenery is beautiful, the cinematography is excellent, but that is all secondary to the escape story.


This film was originally reviewed as part of the Childish Films section of the 2017 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. FFTC was provided with tickets to facilitate our review. Find more movie reviews from past film festivals here

Fanny’s Journey– Details and Viewing Info

Language: French
Runtime: 94 minutes

The scheduled showings of Fanny’s Journey for this festival have passed.

You can view the trailer for the film below.

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