Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
I watch a lot of documentaries on the holocaust....I mean a lot. This one promised to be a little different, by focusing on the children's stories of those who escaped from Germany through the use of the Kindertransport to England.
It certainly delivered on that, but other than that I cant say much more about its qualities, it certainly was very good, but was some how lacking. It clocks in at an hour and fifty five minutes, and honestly I was never bored, but it was all things I had heard before, in a format that was also very familiar. I think the film makers should have taken another approach in letting the people tell their stories, or paced it differently.
The stories are truly heart breaking and all you can do is watch and wonder how you would react to such a situation. Your parents put you on a train to the coast with the promise they would be right behind you, and then never seeing them again. One such story involved a girl who was continually called down to the train station and her name was never on the list, so one day, on her fifth time being called down by the Nazis she simply said that she really wanted to be on the train, the guard asked if she was sure and she said yes, they put her on, but it wasn't headed to the coast...it was going to Auschwitz. She never finishes where that story went, because we all know what happened to her, she later says she came out weighing 58 lbs at the age of 15, truly terrible.
Out of the 1,500,000 children that died in the Holocaust the Britain's took in 10,000. In comparison it doesn't seem like much, but why even try and make sense of it, or throw more blame around.
It was a well made documentary, and won an Oscar for it, but is it one that everyone should run out and see, it doesn't top my list on Holocaust docs to watch, but is powerful none the less. 7/10 stars.