The Children of Chance


Philadelphia Premiere
Saturday, November 12
 7:00 PM
Ambler Theater

Director: Malik Chibane
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: France
Year: 2016
Running Time: 95 min
Language: French w/English subtitles

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THE CHILDREN OF CHANCE is a heartwarming coming-of-age film about friendship, honor, and the role providence plays in all of our lives.

Breaking his hip and being sent to the hospital may have saved Maurice Gutman’s life. His doctor tells him he is very lucky. After all, only minutes after being whisked away in an ambulance, French police arrive to raid his Paris apartment and arrest his parents. With x-rays revealing tuberculosis in the bones of his leg, Maurice (Matteo Perez) is admitted to a long-term children’s facility in the suburb of Garches. Although the hospital appears to be a sanctuary for Maurice, the precariousness of his situation is not lost on him. In addition to the severity of his diagnosis, his Jewish heritage puts him in constant danger, and that fact alone could have his life cut short at any moment. To pass the time and keep their heads up, Maurice and the other boys in the ward share stories, play pranks, and make up songs. Navigating their way through one of the most perilous periods of human history with little more than each other and the good will of their doctors and nurses, Maurice and his friends learn that survival often rides on a game of chance.

Based on a true story, this recipient of the European Children’s Film Association award is a testament to the resilience of youth, as captured in the enchanting and naturalistic performances of its young ensemble cast.

Special Guests: Dr. Henri Parens, Professor of Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University and Training & Supervising Analyst (Adult and Child) at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.


Official Selection: Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival, Rochester Jewish Film Festival, Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and Toronto Jewish Film Festival

Awards: Audience Choice Award for Best Foreign Feature at Seattle Jewish Film Festival

Reviews: “A well-made production….it will touch your heart in many ways.” (Marcy Levinson, Atlanta Jewish Times)

Community Partners:

Gratz College Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program

Holocaust Remembrance Education Program Jewish War Veterans Post 697

Hiway Theater



Saint Joseph’s University Department of Modern and Classical Languages


Temple University Department of History

University of Pennsylvania Department of History