A Film by Nissim Mossek
(Israel, 2006, 70 Minutes, Color, Hebrew/ English/ Bulgarian, English subtitles)
On the night of December 3, 1940, at the Black Sea port of Varna, Bulgaria, the Salvador - a rickety, old, sail-powered coal freighter - is finally towed out to sea. 352 Bulgarian Jews begin their voyage on the high seas after many long and wearying months of waiting. Ten hellish days later, the tiny old vessel is heavily buffeted by a storm, running aground on a reef not far from Istanbul.
The Salvador is shattered to pieces, and most of its passengers are lost at sea. While some of the survivors return to Bulgaria, most struggle on towards their original destination - Palestine.
The courageous story of the Salvador immigrants, never before presented to the public, is the focus of this documentary; set against the background of the extraordinary rescue of Bulgarian Jewry during World War II.
With emotional personal accounts from survivors, the film reenacts the voyage of the Salvador – beginning with preparations on land and continuing through the tragedy at sea. The film tells the harrowing tale of the intrepid survivors’ journey against all odds.