ANGEL OF MERCY
The Story of Sister Margaret Slachta
Angel of Mercy tells the story of Sister Margaret Slachta, a courageous woman who defied the Nazis and the communists in her fight for social justice. Slachta, a teacher and activist, became the first woman elected to Hungary's parliament in 1920. Her unique vision of social intervention on behalf of the poor, combined with a strong feminist streak and devout Catholic faith, led to heroic acts of courage during the Hungarian Holocaust of 1944-45.
Slachta and the Grey Sisters (the order she founded) are credited with saving over 1,000 lives. Hundreds of letters of safe conduct were obtained by the sisters from the International Red Cross, the Swedish Embassy and the Papal Nuncio.
Sister Margaret Slachta, SSS
Sisters of Social Service
• In 2006 a shoot at Budapest's St. Stephen Basilica documented the beatification ceremony for Sára Salkaházi of the Sisters of Social Service. Sister Sára was murdered by the Nazis in 1944 along with several people she was helping to hide.
• In April 2008 interviews were filmed with Marika and László Somogyi in Kensington, California. Marika Somogyi was eight years old when her parents gave her to Sister Slachta to protect her. Her story is an anchor piece in the film.
• In December 2008 we filmed in Buffalo, New York, at the cemetery where Margaret Slachta is buried, and interviewed three sisters who knew her. We also interviewed Tibor Baránski, who worked for the Papal Nuncio in 1944 in Budapest, and participated in the Vatican's ambassadorial efforts to secure thousands of safe conduct visas to Jews in Hungary. In October 2013, Baránski will be honored by the Hungarian government for his actions in 1944, and we plan to cover the award ceremony in Buffalo.
• A 2010 interview was taped with István Csicsery-Ronay in Budapest. He knew Slachta when they were both in the Hungarian parliament.
Production will require 8-10 shoot days in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Israel, and 5-6 shoot days in the United States and Canada.
We anticipate completion of the film in 2015,
and distribution during 2016.