After coming home from a day "out on the town" and then sitting down to watch this program on PBS by accident while channel-surfing was an interesting experience. The documentary so vividly told the stories of the experience of the children who where part of the the Kindertransport. What did it mean for them to be separated from their parents? What was it like for the parents who sent them away? How did the children cope with being in a strange land with strangers? How did some children deal with their parents' demise? How did some children deal with being reunited with their parents after the war? The movie was very well-done and very moving. I would definitely recommend owning this movie. Well-deserved Oscar win.
"Into the Arms of Strangers", directed by Mark Jonathan Harris, is a loving account of what parents resort to do in order to save their children from a tragedy that was looming over Europe. Having missed this film when it was first released, we caught up with it in the DVD format that has been lovingly transferred to that medium.The story of the "Kindertransport" is recounted by some of the children that participated in it. We watch them as they are today, and through pictures, and sometimes on those old newsreels and films where they are captured as children in Germany, and the countries where the prosecution of Jews took an ugly turn.Our heart goes to some of these older people that speak with such dignity in spite of what was done to them and their families. It's a tribute to the people who tell us what happened to them in the way they express their experiences without venom, or malice. After all, these persons showcased in the documentary are all survivors, something that thousands other Jewish children didn't have the same fate.One can only imagine what these individuals went through at such an early life, many without being able to speak English, or made themselves understood in the households that received them. Imagine a child separated from loving parents having to deal with a world gone mad. It speaks volumes the people that tells us their stories turned out to be the way they did!Dame Judy Dench's narration works well in the context of the material being shown. Mark Jonathan Harris has made a valuable contribution to show the whole world how a mad man changed these children's lives, and their parents' forever.
I watched this movie the other night and found it most moving. I think it should be widely shown as very few people know of the Kindertransport. The documentary is well done and tells a wonderful story of survival. It was such a pity that no other country, other than England, helped to save these children. I highly recommend everyone to see it, as it is a part of our history.
This is a film that must be seen by your entire family. True, it's very disturbing, but it's one of the best films ever made about the horrors of war. Beautifully made, touching and moving, this is just a marvel. It should be shown every year on national television, to make sure that people never forget. Technically a marvel, there is not one thing wrong with this film, other than the fact that people haven't seen it.
The Testament of holocaust survivors is always worth hearing, lest we forget the depths to which humanity proved it was capable of sinking. In fact, the scale of the tragedy is almost incomprehensible to a privileged modern mind, hence the appeal of stories like 'Schindler's List', which focus on a few who were luckier than most: they give us an insight into the horror, without totally disconnecting from our own, more fortunate, experience. 'Into the Arms of Strangers' likewise tells a more human story than the bleakest truths, namely that of Jewish children taken in by Britain before the war. It's not a bad film, and yet to me it was not the most powerful account of the holocaust I've seen in spite of its human scale. Perhaps this is because the worst fate suffered by the rescued - the death of the families they left behind - was a burden gradually assumed, not directly witnessed, and the survivor's stories are thus that little bit more polished and analytical than in the most compelling documentary - whereas perceptions of events are static (and thus retain their quality of immediacy), our interpretations of our feelings are influenced by what happens afterwards, and even our own stories become slightly second-hand over time. Or perhaps this impression is merely created by the film-makers' slightly heavy-handed use of background music and images. In spite of the above, this is still a highly poignant and important film. We who live today should count, and guard, our blessings.