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Home “The Girl And The Picture” By Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Vanessa Roth

“The Girl And The Picture” By Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Vanessa Roth


In 1937, an orphaned Chinese girl and an American missionary with a camera came face-to-face in a moment that shaped history. Images from that encounter established evidence of one of the world’s worst atrocities, and a legacy that spans eight decades.

At age eight, Xia Shuqin and her younger sister witnessed the murder of their entire family in what became known as the Nanjing Massacre. In the days that followed, an American missionary named John Magee documented the horror, filming the little girls in front of the remains of their family home, creating evidence of the carnage and binding his family and theirs forever.

THE GIRL AND THE PICTURE brings together direct descendants of this history as Madam Xia, at 88, shares her memories with her granddaughter, her seven-year-old great grandson, and with Chris Magee, the grandson of the missionary who captured her image eight decades earlier. THE GIRL AND THE PICTURE brings to light the power of memory to connect generations and create a shared legacy of family, loss, and survival.

The film is presented by USC Shoah Foundation, which was founded by Steven Spielberg with a mission to record eyewitness testimonies of the Holocaust and other genocides. It will play at the Newport Beach Film Festival on Saturday, April 28 as part of their Inspirational Short Docs program, following screenings at AmDocs, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival.  Additional festival dates are to be announced.


THE GIRL AND THE PICTURE is written and directed by Academy Award® winner Vanessa Roth, writer and director of the Netflix docu-series, Daughters of Destiny.  The film is produced by Roth, Stephen D. Smith, and Devorah Palladino. Executive Producers are Ceci Chan and Andi Gitow. Editing by Livio Sanchez and cinematography by Daniel B. Gold, with sound recording by John Zecca.



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