Madeleine Truel, called ‘The Peruvian Schildler,’ has been heralded as a hero for saving hundreds of lives from Nazi persecution during World War II… And now her story will be shared with the world.
Transcendent Entertainment, run by Peruvian-born executive Danny Rodriguez, will be bringing the little-known true story of the Peruvian French Resistance member to the big screen.
During World War II, the Paris-based Truel worked as a forger of documents, especially passports, which were delivered to Jewish fugitives and allied soldiers that had parachuted over the French capital. She used the pseudonym Marie to avoid being identified by agents of the Gestapo.
In June 1944, Truel was captured by German agents when she was picking up ink in one of the French Resistance’s hideaways. She was tortured to uncover details about the plans and the members of the resistance. But she didn’t give away any details and assumed all responsibility for her acts.
Truel was transferred to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1945, where she received the affectionate name “Bird of the Isles” for her heroic charitable manner, including distributing her small rationsof food to help those who needed it most. She died in Stolpe, Germany, on May 3, 1945, after the so-called “death march”, a few hours before Russian troops arrived.
The drama, tentatively titled Magdalena, is based on the nonfiction bestseller Final Stop by former CNN Español journalist Hugo Coya who recounts stories gleaned from five years of research on the 21 Peruvians who perished in Nazi camps.
The film is budgeted at an initial $30 million and will likely shoot in France and Peru, where Truel spent the first 18 years of her life.
New York-based helmer-scribe Francis Delia will pen the screenplay. Rodriguez is in talks with potential helmers to direct the film, which is slated to begin shooting by next year.