Into the Arms of Strangers
Details: (PG), 122 mins, United States, English
Synopsis: Into The Arms Of Strangers, the feature documentary directed by Mark Jonathan Harris and narrated by Judi Dench, details the rescue of 10,000 German, Austrian, and Czechoslovakian Jewish children just prior to the outbreak of WWII. The documentary combines powerful testimonies from now elderly--kinder--with rare archival film footage. Following the Kristallnacht pogroms in November 1938, a mission began to remove Jewish children to the only nation willing to harbor them--England. Parents lucky enough to secure their children places had the heartbreaking task of packing a single suitcase and putting their child on a train, promising to follow soon after. Most of the parents, however, died in Hitler\'s concentration camps.
This should be watched by all, a valuable historical account that will leave you in tears.
In the nine months leading up to World War 2 the British opened their borders to over 10,000 Jewish children from Austria, Germany and Czechoslovakia. The children were placed in foster homes in the expectation that their parents would soon follow. This remarkable film documents this rescue operation through the stories of some of the adults who experienced being part of the Kindertransport, as it was known, their feelings of being torn apart from parents whom they loved, their devastation at discovering their parents were trapped, their hope throughout the war of reuniting with fathers and mothers.
This is a great humanist documentary because it`s not just about loss. What struck me was that there was a grandeur to many of the adults who had been part of the Kindertransport, a generosity of spirit towards their foster families, who were often completely incapable of dealing with the emotional life of their charges, and an incredible ability to appreciate the life that they had almost miraculously been given. The mother of producer Deborah Oppenheimer had been one of the Kinder who`d been saved, and, Oppenheimer, who worked with the Oscar-winning director Mark Jonathan Harris, has created a most moving and life- affirming film. It`s beautifully structured and edited, with a gently informative narration by Dame Judi Dench. I must admit to being moved to tears by Into the Arms of Strangers. It is a tribute to the human spirit.
Watch Films Online
Films on SBS TV
SBS Film Guide to...
Celebrate Australian filmmaking with this home-grown season. Starts May 25.
A month of movies with an edge. Saturday nights in April.