FILM NICKY'S FAMILY,
VIEWED ON THE FIRST NIGHT OF SHAVUOT, JUNE 3, 2014

After a short servce for the first evening of Shavout,we viewed the film Nicky's Family. The Hollywood Reporter published the following review of the film:

"The title of Matej Minacís documentary refers to the children who were rescued from Nazi clutches by Nicholas Winton just before the outbreak of World War II. And itís a big family indeed. Winton, who has been dubbed ďBritainís Schindler,Ē was a young stockbroker who traveled to Prague in December 1938. Quickly realizing the extent of the gathering storm, he created an organization -- manned solely by himself -- that arranged transport for 669 Czech and Slovak Jewish children to the safety of host families in England. Nickyís Family recounts this inspirational tale, which remains little-known despite being the subject of a previous television documentary by the same filmmaker.

Part of the reason for the storyís obscurity is the modesty of its hero, who said nothing about his exploits for more than half a century. It only came to light in 1988, when his wife discovered documents in an attic trunk detailing the operation. Still alive at the age of 104 and having received a knighthood, Winton is seen only briefly in the film, in short interviews and scenes in which he is reunited with some of those he rescued. An end credit note reveals that only 261 of them have made themselves known.

The film relates the story in clear, cohesive fashion, using a combination of archival footage and photographs, interviews with survivors, and re-enactments

The last part of the film is largely, and deservedly, celebratory, as it depicts the ongoing positive results of Wintonís bravery, such as the descendants of those he saved detailing how it inspired them to their own humanitarian efforts and footage of a gala musical event featuring Prague schoolchildren in which he was the guest of honor.

Nickyís Family is that rare Holocaust documentary that is largely uplifting. And itís particularly heartwarming to note that its central figure is still around to reap his deserved accolades."

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