Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Review: NICKY'S FAMILY (2011)

Nicky's Family (2011). Documentary. Dir: Matej Minac. No rating.

Nicky's Family is the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a centenarian who made his fortune in the stock market, but made his name as a rescuer of children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War 2.

Nicholas "Nicky" Winton was a carefree young man planning a ski trip with friends when circumstances conspired to change his life, and that of hundreds of Jewish children. He ended up in Czechoslovakia and toured refugee camps with his friend, who was trying to attract the attention of the international community to the plight of that country's Jews. Winton was so moved by the plight of the families struggling for some way to free themselves and their children from the Nazis that he formed a one-man committee to advocate for the children and arrange shelter for them with British families. The arrangements were only supposed to be temporary, until things improved and the children could rejoin their families, but they never did.

The film follows the story of how Winton accomplished his improbable mission and features interviews with Winton and with several of the people he saved- now elderly adults with families of their own. We learn about what happened to many of the kids in later life. Some joined the military to fight for Britain during the war; others returned to Czechoslovakia or ended up in Australia and the United States. The film also shows many of the people inspired by Winton's courage and tenacity and kindness, and the good deeds that they have done in turn. The film is truly inspiring and moving. I burned through every tissue in my purse by the end of this heartwarming, wonderful film.

I never knew anything about Winton's role in saving so many lives during the war, and I strongly recommend this film to anyone interested in the topic. It was amazing, what he was able to do!

Rating: RUSH

FTC Disclosure: I received free passes to this film from its distributor, Menemsha Films.