documentaries

Cape Town Recovery Film Festival

The First Cape Town Recovery Film Festival (CTRFF) marks the start of an annual event at the heart of an initiative to celebrate and encourage a Recovery Culture and Lifestyle in the city. The idea for this project developed out of the feedback got from a couple of film screenings done at The Labia Theatre (Bill W – The Movie and Happy – The Movie, both sold out the main screen) and from similar events in the USA and the UK.  

Features and Documentaries

         

All My Loved Ones (2000), Director: Matej Mináč, Running time: 91 minutes.

Matej Minac's heartbreaking and poignant story of one family's experience at the onset of World War II is inspired by the heroics of English stockbroker Nicholas Winton who saved hundreds of Czech Jewish children from the Nazis and is loosely based on his own mother's personal memories of the time.      

 

The Children Who Cheated the Nazis (2000), Director: Sue Read, Running time:

The Children Who Cheated the Nazis is a documentary about the Kindertransport, by the director Sue Read and producer Jim Goulding. This documentary film was broadcast by Channel 4 (UK) on September 28th, 2000, and has since been broadcast in America, Israel, France, Australia, Spain and worldwide. The film is narrated by Lord Richard Attenborough, Academy Award winning film actor and director, who features in the film, talking about the two Kindertransport children his family gave a home to. Also featured is Warren Mitchell, whose family also took in a Kindertransport child.

 

Into the Arms of Strangers (2001), Director: Mark Jonathan Harris, Running time: 122 minutes

This Academy Award®-winning documentary (produced with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Museum) chronicles one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust: that of the kindertransport, which saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children. In the late 1930s, England agreed to accept these children seeking refuge from Nazi oppression. They were placed in foster homes and hostels. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris (who received an Oscar® for his 1997 Holocaust documentary The Long Way Home), this devastating and deeply moving film bears witness to the kindness of these "simply wonderful people" and to the resilience of the kinder, now elderly, who recall in haunting stories the unimaginable grief of being suddenly torn from their parents, the trauma of not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and the difficulties some faced in their new homes. Recalls one, "None of the foster parents with whom I stayed could stand me for very long. But all of them had the grace to take in a Jewish child." But despite having their youth uprooted, many possess an indomitable spirit. One woman speaks of devoting her adult life to human rights and social justice causes. "I can't pay back or thank some of the people who helped me," she states, "But I can do something for other people."  (Donald Liebenson for Amazon.com) 

         

         

         

         

     

A free study Guide for "Into the Arms of Strangers" is able at: http://www2.warnerbros.com/intothearmsofstrangers/studyguide.html# and can be downloaded as a PDF file.

 


My Knees Were Jumping (1996), Director: Melissa Hacker, Running time: 76 minutes.

In the nine months just prior to World War II nearly 10,000 children were sent, without their parents, to Great Britain from Nazi Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. These children were rescued by the Kindertransport movement. Most of the children never saw their parents again. Those courageous parents who had the strength to send their children off to an unknown fate soon boarded transports taking them to concentration camps.

The story of the Kindertransports is an extraordinary piece of history-- unknown far too long. The children who lived the trauma and terror of being uprooted from secure homes tell amazing stories. Into the darkness of the Holocaust it is important to add true tales that are life affirming.

Melissa Hacker, a documentary filmmaker, has produced, directed and edited My Knees Were Jumping; Remembering the Kindertransports,the first feature-length documentary on this important but hidden story of the Holocaust. The filmmaker has lifelong, intimate knowledge of this story, as her mother was one of the children rescued from Vienna by the Kindertransport movement in January 1939.

 

Operation Kindertransport (2009), BBC Production, Running time:

As part of Operation Kindertransport during World War II hundreds of Jewish children were given refuge at Gwrych Castle. The facilities were extremely basic, with no running water or electricity, as the castle was not connected to the main water and electricity supplies, and no fuel was available for the generators. The children left Gwrych only after the war had ended, when land in the newly created state of Israel became available. This BBC transmitted production was filmed at Gwrych in 2009, where some of the “children” recall their time at Gwrych.

 


That Life (1988), BBC Production, Running time: under 10 minutes for both films.

Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport. This video is the BBC Programme "That's Life" aired in 1988.

           

 

The Power of Good (2002), Director: Matej Mináč, Running time: 64minutes.

In 1939, Nicholas Winton personally saved the lives of 669 children. Most of them were Jewish — from Czechoslovakia, which was soon to be occupied by the Nazis. He brought them to Britain and kept it a secret for nearly 50 years. In 2002 Queen Elizabeth II conferred knighthood on Winton.