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September 11, 2020 12:28 pm

Actor Anthony Hopkins to Star in New Holocaust Movie About Nicholas Winton, Who Saved 669 Children From Nazis


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The late Sir Nicholas Winton. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Oscar-winning actor Anthony Hopkins will take on the lead role in a new film about the late Sir Nicholas George Winton, who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis, Variety reported on Wednesday.

In the Holocaust drama “One Life,” both Hopkins and fellow British actor Johnny Flynn will play Winton at different stages of his life.

The son of German-Jewish parents, at the age of 29 Winton oversaw the rescue of children in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia who were threatened with deportation to Adolf Hitler’s death camps. He arranged for the Czech children to safely travel to England, where they were taken in by British foster families. Winton succeeded in rescuing around 669 children from Czechoslovakia, most of them Jewish, in 1938-1939, before World War II broke out.

The humanitarian and stockbroker kept his rescue efforts a secret and it was only publicized 49 years later when his wife discovered in their attic a scrapbook featuring the children’s names and new addresses. Winton’s surprise and emotional reunion with the grown children whom he had saved took place in 1988 on the BBC show “That’s Life.”

Winton was knighted in 2003 by Queen Elizabeth II for “services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi Germany.” He died in 2015 at the age of 106.

See-Saw Films’ managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, along with Joanna Laurie, are producing “One Life.” Aisling Walsh is set to direct. Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake co-wrote the screenplay.

“Despite never wanting any attention for his altruistic act, Nicky’s story and the story of those he saved must be told,” said Canning and Sherman. “To be a part of sharing this moment in history with the world is an extraordinary privilege. Anthony and Johnny are without a doubt the right people to bring Lucinda and Nick’s beautifully‐crafted screenplay about this amazing man to life.”

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