A feature documentary by Lackadaisy Films


Mila Sandberg and Izydor Mesner were born in Poland in the 1920s. Despite losing most of their family to war and genocide, Mila and Izydor managed to survive. Some of this was due to sheer luck and coincidence, but much of it was thanks to the remarkable selflessness of people who risked everything to help them.

This is not so much a documentary about the Holocaust as it is about Mila and Izydor's reflections on the human condition and the effects of politics, stereotypes and discrimination on the personal lives, hopes and dreams of so many people. It is also a story about love, solidarity and the preciousness of life.

Given some of the worrying trends in the world today, it would appear that many of the lessons of the past need to be recalled. It is all the more frightening that stories of suffering or discrimination are often sensationalised and used for the purpose of perpetuating even greater persecution upon one or other group of people. The effects of such experiences are frequently passed down to future generations, creating a never ending cycle of stigma and suspicion. For Mila and Izydor, the feeling of being seen as outsiders never dissipated entirely. Nevertheless, they were determined to embrace life as fully as possible, supported by their love for each other and an undying belief that compassion and understanding can be a vehicle for change in the world.

In 2005, Mila published a book about her experiences. It is called Light from the Shadows.



Second Chances combines hand drawn animation with live action footage to create a singular visual experience. The style of the animation is evocative of the fleeting and ever shifting nature of memories, weaving in and out of the frame like a restless ghost.

The film is directed by Farzin Farzaneh in collaboration with Shahin Farzaneh who is the executive producer, researcher and co-editor. The music is by Sandra Chechik, an accomplished and prolific Montreal based composer.

Second Chances is produced by Lackadaisy Films, a production company founded by Farzin Farzaneh devoted to independent and artful cinema.

Second Chances has received a partial grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Qu├ębec, The Canada Council for the Arts and assistance from The National Film Board of Canada (ACIC).