The film tells the story of a man’s mother from Birmingham, Ukraine, during World War II

"My Name is Sara" Stars newcomer Zuzanna Surowy in a breakout role as Sara.

In 1942, a mother in Nazi-occupied Poland said to her 11-year-old daughter, “Sara, you have to survive. Promise me that you will do whatever it takes to survive, because your survival is our revenge.”

On Friday, August 5, the true story of Sara’s harrowing survival at any cost opens at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield Township, not far from where she lived on Pine Lake for 40 years after dying after World War II World War had come to the United States.

My Name is Sara is based on the early life of Sara Góralnik-Shapiro, who made a grueling escape to the Ukrainian countryside after her family was murdered by Nazis in Poland. Sara found refuge in a small village, pretending to be an Orthodox Christian.

There she worked as a maid for a farmer and his young wife, living in fear of the greatest secret she had to protect: her identity as a Jew.

Crews film a scene "My Name is Sara" on the set in Poland.

Sara talks about the Holocaust

Decades later and halfway around the world, real estate developer, philanthropist and Birmingham resident Mickey Shapiro learned the details of his mother’s early life.

“She never told me the whole story,” Shapiro said. “She always said, ‘You don’t want to know what happened to me.’ As a son, I took it at face value. If it hurt her so badly that she didn’t want to talk about it, I didn’t want to pressure her.”

Mickey Shapiro

But eventually, Sara shared her story with the USC Shoah Foundation, the pre-eminent Holocaust education organization. After director Steven Oritt heard her testimony, he knew the world needed to hear the story, too.

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