Saturday 16 December 2023

One Life – Nicholas Winton

 Free Architecture Kindertransport Statue photo and picture

Nicholas Winton was very involved with the Kindertransport and helped bring 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to the UK on six successful transports. We all probably remember him on Estrher Rantzen’s  That’s Life  in 1988 to which he was invited. He was shown to a seat on the front row. His request to be seated further back was ignored. At one point Rantzen asked everybody in the audience who had been rescued by him to stand up.  Only he and his wife remained seated.

Now a film has been made about Winton: One Life. The official trailer shows that occasion.

Anthony Hopkins plays the older Winton. Johnny Flynn plays the younger Winton.  Helena Bonham Carter plays Winton’s mother. Winton involved her in much of the organisation. She was very effective. She challenges officials and extols the British virtues of a commitment to decency, kindness and a respect for others. Yes, I can confirm that bureaucracy did need challenging; I have seen the minutes of the committee meetings that discussed the Kindertransport.    

Winton’s parents were Jewish. They converted to the Church of England and changed their name from Wertheim to Winton to allow for better integration.   

The screenplay is based on the book It’s Not Impossible…The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton, written by his daughter Barbara Winton.

The film is produced in Britain and goes on general release in the New Year. It promises to be a tear-jerker and is perhaps our contribution that resembles Schindler’s List.

The film tells the story through a series of flash backs as Winton sorts through his papers and is burning many of them in a bonfire in his garden. It seems that Winton had not wanted to bring attention to what he had done and indeed, in both the trailer for the film and the actual show with Rantzen he looks bewildered.  

He has kept the papers secret until 1988 and was clearing them because his wife wanted their home to be tidier. But when she realised what they were she took action to let other people know.

Though Winton rescued those 669 children he was constantly haunted by the number he couldn’t rescue.  

His grandson was featured on The One Show this week talking about the film.  

No comments:

Post a Comment