GenreDocumentary, History, War Music directorLee Holdridge WriterMark Jonathan Harris LanguageEnglish
Release dateSeptember 7, 2000 (2000-09-07) (United States)
November 24, 2000 (2000-11-24) (United Kingdom) CastJudi Dench, Lore Segal, Kurt Fuchel, Hedy Epstein, Eva Hayman Similar moviesDr. No, For Your Eyes Only, Mission: Impossible, From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service
TaglineIn the nine months prior to World War II, 10,000 innocent children left behind their families, their homes, their childhood, and took the journey...
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport is the 2000 Academy Award-winning Warner Bros. documentary feature film about the remarkable British rescue operation, known as the Kindertransport, which saved the lives of over 10,000 Jewish children from Nazi Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia by transporting them via train, boat, and plane to England. These children, or kinder in German, were taken into foster homes and hostels in Britain, expecting eventually to be reunited with their parents. The majority of them never saw their families again. Written and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris, produced by Deborah Oppenheimer, narrated by Judi Dench, and made with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, it utilized rare and extensive footage, photographs, and artifacts, and is told in the words of the child survivors, rescuers, parents, and foster parents.
The documentary relies heavily on filmed interviews in which the children of the Kindertransport (aged in their 60s and 70s at the time of the filming) recall their feelings and experiences. These interview subjects include:
Lorraine Allard, kind
Lory Cahn, kind
Mariam Cohen, foster mother of Kurt Fuchel
Hedy Epstein, kind
Kurt Fuchel, kind
[Alexander Gordon], kind
Franzi Groszmann, mother of Lore Segal
Eva Hayman, kind
Jack Hellman, kind
Bertha Leverton, kind
Ursula Rosenfeld, kind
Inge Sadan, kind (Bertha Leverton's sister)
Lore Segal, kind
Robert Sugar, kind
Nicholas Winton, rescuer
Norbert Wollheim, rescuer
Alexander Gordon was also one of the refugees on HMT Dunera, one of the most notorious events of British maritime history.
An overwhelming majority of American film critics responded positively to Into the Arms of Strangers writing that it both intellectually and emotionally captures this chapter of history. The film went on to win the prestigious Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film had an extremely limited theatrical release (18 theaters at its widest) and grossed $382,807 domestically.
In 2014, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertranspot was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Watching the film inspired W. G. Sebald to write his last novel Austerlitz, in which the protagonist undergoes a journey of discovering his own childhood deportation on the Kindertransport.