In the late 1930s, the Nazi regime in Germany escalated its implementation of murderous anti-Semitic policies which led to the destruction of Jewish property and violence against Jewish people. As details began to emerge, there was a faltering international effort to assist Jewish families who were desperately trying to emigrate. The most successful initiative was the Kindertransport, a series of special trains used to evacuate Jewish children from Germany to the safety of Britain. The Kindertransport was responsible for the safe passage and long term survival of literally thousands of children who escaped the Holocaust. Escape had its own price, since the children were separated from their families (adults not being allowed on the trains) and fostered to strangers’ homes. They were safe, but they experienced loneliness, culture shock and the terrible loss of their parents’ love.
This remarkable and very moving story is told with intelligence, sensitivity and skill in the Oscar-winning documentary Into the Arms of Strangers. Interweaving fascinating archive footage with enthralling contemporary interviews given by Kindertransport survivors and a subtle voiceover commentary spoken by Judi Dench, director Mark Jonathan Harris illuminates an important historical episode. U.K./U.S.A., 2000. Colour and black and white. Dolby digital stereo. 117 min.