LOS ANGELES, USA (sentinel.ht) – Pras Michel of the Fugees is working on a new film about a Haitian-born American pilot who was downed and imprisoned in Nazi Germany during World War II.
The film is an adaptation of Hugh Wray McCann and David C. Smith’s book “The Search for Johnny Nicholas: The Secret of Nazi Prisoner No. 44451”. Pras will be teamed with producer Karyn Rachtman, who also worked with him on his 2015 documentary “Sweet Micky for President”.
Born in 1918, Nicholas was a young Haitian dilettante and member of the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris. He spent the last year of his life at the Dora concentration camp in Germany, where the Third Reich was developing its V2 rocket. Nicholas survived Camp Dora and the war by working undercover as a doctor, as an assistant to Dr. Karl Kahr at the camp infirmary, but he died shortly thereafter of tuberculosis.
From the description of the book that Pras has optioned: “To others he was a key player in the French Resistance and a doctor who’d set up a practice in Paris as a cover for his clandestine activities. At a well built 6 feet, he was a bon vivant who loved the high life, and a film producer with a penchant for boldly thumbing his nose at the Nazis in World War II Paris. To Florence, his blonde girlfriend, he was an enigma who cheated on her; she betrayed him to her German handlers. Nicholas was arrested by the Gestapo and wound up in 1943 in Buchenwald as a slave laborer, later working with thousands of other prisoners to hollow out a secret underground plant under construction at Camp Dora where V-1 and V-2 rocket bombs were built. He was the only black and only ‘American’ at Dora. Who was Johnny Nicholas and how did he survive four death sentences? What was his real mission and ultimate fate? More than 20 years and 600 contacts worldwide have gone into ‘The Search for Johnny Nicholas,’ the dramatic untold story of an unsung hero.”
IndieWire writer, Tambay A. Obenson, wrote on the upcoming film and added:
“Sounds quite riveting, doesn’t it? These are the kinds of seemingly *unbelievable* WWII stories we simply don’t get enough of. I want to see this on screen – and hopefully done well.”