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Aristides de Sousa Mendes: A Rebel (2008)

Désobéir (Aristides de Sousa Mendes) (original title)


Joël Santoni


Martine Chicot (original idea), José-Alain Fralon (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Le Coq Bernard Le Coq ... Aristides de Sousa Mendes / César de Sousa Mendes
Nanou Garcia Nanou Garcia ... Angelina de Sousa Mendes
Lionel Lingelser ... Pedro Nuno de Sousa Mendes
Roger Souza Roger Souza ... Seabra
Frédéric Quiring Frédéric Quiring ... Le rabbin Kruger
Émilie Scarlett Moget Émilie Scarlett Moget ... Andrée Cibial (as Émilie Scarlett-Moget)
Paulo Matos Paulo Matos ... Salazar
Frédéric Kneip Frédéric Kneip ... Pesao
Théodora Mytakis Théodora Mytakis ... Miny
Christian Loustau Christian Loustau ... Neira Laporte
Pascal Aubert Pascal Aubert ... Patron de café Pesao
Frédéric Bouchet Frédéric Bouchet ... Faria Machado
Alain Raymond Alain Raymond ... Comte Tovar (as Alain Raimond)
Sébastien Blanc Sébastien Blanc ... Homme 1 Pesao
Jules Ferran Jules Ferran ... Homme 2 Pesao


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French | Yiddish | Portuguese

Release Date:

12 June 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Disobedience: The Sousa Mendes Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Bordeaux, Gironde, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ah! Que la France est belle
Written by Pierre Bayle, Gaston Gabaroche and Jacques Simonot
© 1940 by Editions Beuscher - Arpège
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding film about an outstanding man
4 August 2013 | by Red-125See all my reviews

The French Film "Désobéir (Aristides de Sousa Mendes)" is listed by IMDb with the English title "Aristides de Sousa Mendes: A Rebel (2008) (TV)." We saw the movie with a different English title, "Disobedience:The Sousa Mendes Story (2012)." It's clearly the same movie. If you want to see it--which I hope you will--you may have to seek it out under its various names until you find it. The director is Joël Santoni.

Bernard Le Coq plays Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese aristocrat who is the Portuguese Counsel General in Bordeaux. After the Germans defeated the French in World War II, it was just a matter of time before Jews, Communists, and anti-Nazi's would be rounded up and killed. These people had just one hope--a visa from a neutral nation that would allow them to emigrate before they were slaughtered.

Sousa Mendes has a safe and easy job, a wonderful wife and family, and a beautiful French mistress. His life could have continued unchanged if he had merely followed orders. The orders were contained in a document called Circular 14, issued by the Antonio Salazar, the Fascist Portuguese Prime Minister. The document specifically ordered Portuguese diplomats to deny visas to all refugees trying to escape via Portugal.

It's a historical fact that Sousa Mendes defied Circular 14, and issued 30,000(!) visas to anyone who requested a visa. (Ten thousand of the visas were issued to Jews.) Sousa Mendes's act has been called "the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust."

The film tells us that, like Oskar Schindler, Sousa Mendes did not set out to be a hero. He set out to do what he believed was right. Other diplomats were content--or happy-- to follow orders. He instead decided to follow his conscience.

The movie is beautifully directed and acted. The terror of the refugees--camped outside the consulate--is almost palpable. We can feel the excitement that Sousa Mendes feels when he makes his decision and sets to work. This is an immensely moving motion picture. The best part is that the basic facts are true! It's a wonderful and important movie, and shouldn't be missed.

We saw this film at Rochester's Dryden Theatre as part of the 2013 Rochester Jewish Film Festival. Rochester is a medium-sized city. However, the RJFF are so well-selected, and the festival is so well-organized, that it could compare favorably to Jewish Film festivals in much larger cities. The next RJFF will be held July 20th - 28th, 2014. If you live in western New York, and if you love great movies, you should plan on being there. Even if you live further away, It's worth a special trip!

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