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"Dr. Helmy had done good of the highest degree": the director Talya Finkel about the film "Anna and the Egyptian Doctor"

The film director Talya Finkel presented her film "Anna and the Egyptian Doctor" taking part in the documentary film competition of the 45th Moscow International Film Festival. This is her second work, telling the story of the Arab doctor Mohamed Helmy, who, posing as a Nazi supporter, rescued a Jewish girl disguised as a Muslim. Hemly is the first and only Arab to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations, but his family refused to accept the award.

"In 2013, under a small news article about Mohamed Helmy being recognized as Righteous, I saw many racist comments – people from Israel did not want Arabs to accept such an award. I thought this reaction was wrong, because Dr. Helmy had done good of the highest degree by saving another person's life. So, I decided to study this story carefully and make a film about it", noted the director.

This resulted in two films. The first, "Mohamed and Anna in Plain Sight" (2017), presents the historical part of the events. The current film focuses on Helmy's relatives. In particular, his grandnephew Dr. Nasser Kotby, who was the only Helmy family member who agreed to accept the Righteous Among the Nations award for him, but was also the first Arab to speak about the Holocaust in a film.