Archive of films The Power of Good - Nicholas Winton / Síla lidskosti - Nicholas Winton

Czech Republic / Slovak Republic
2002, 64 min

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
Year: 2002

An expressive reconstruction of a dramatic tale of courage and determination involving a man who succeeded in 1939 in saving almost seven hundred Czechoslovak children from the hands of the Nazis. It was not until 1988 that Nicholas Winton’s wife discovered papers documenting the whole event and, after the story became public, the ageing man was finally able to meet some of “his” children after almost fifty years.


Synopsis

Matej Mináč’s previous film All My Loved Ones told the story of a Czech Jewish family whose members were all victims of the Holocaust with the exception of a son who was saved along with other children from certain death at the hands of the Nazis. The director’s next project, the documentary film The Power of Good, presents the Englishman Nicholas Winton who, between March and August 1939, was successful in rescuing 669 primarily Jewish children from a death transport, finding them new homes in Great Britain. After the outbreak of the Second World War, Winton entered the services of the Royal Air Force without telling anyone about his actions. It was not until 1988 that his wife discovered papers documenting the whole event. The story became public and Winton even meet some of “his” children. Mináč used archive footage, photographs and various testimonies to make a stirring film which tells of the courage of an individual whose determination helped to save many human lives. "The story of Nicholas Winton is a wonderful symbol of human solidarity, self-sacrifice and courage. From it emanates the hope that even in the most difficult times, full of hopelessness, it is still possible to achieve much that is good. (Greeting from Václav Havel, President of the Czech Republik, on the occasion of honouring Mr. Nicholas Winton, Los Angeles, 9 April 2002).

About the director

Matej Mináč (b. 1961) studied film direction at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. His filmography contains works such as Four Angry Men and the documentary on Juraj Jakubisko I’m Shooting from Up on a Branch and I Feel Great. He participated in the GEN and GENUS series, making television portraits of the entrepreneur Tomáš Baťa, athlete Emil Zátopek and artist and director Břetislav Pojar. He also makes art documentaries and music films: I Was Born in Prague as a Jewess (Narodila jsem se v Praze jako Židovka), Hebrew Meditations (Hebrejské meditace), Reconstruction of a Family Album (Rekonstrukce rodinného alba), and is involved in television (five parts of a series on Czech photographers, The Photography Mafia). He debuted in features with his 1999 film All My Loved Ones (Všichni moji blízcí).

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films in Competition
   
Director: Matej Mináč
Screenplay: Matej Mináč, Patrik Pašš
Dir. of Photography: Antonín Daňhel, Antonín Weiser, Peter Zubal, Richard Krivda
Music: Janusz Stoklosa
Editor: Patrik Pašš
Producer: Matej Mináč, Patrik Pašš
Production: WIP. s.r.o. ve spolupráci s / in co-production with: Trigon Production
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