Prague, Czech Republic- A new movie will tell the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, the British banker and humanitarian who saved the lives of hundreds of children, most of them Jewish, in Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II.
Directed by Irish filmmaker Aisling Walsh and co-produced by See-Saw Films, the One Life biopic will star two British actors in the lead roles to portray Sir Nicholas Winton at different stages of his life: rising star Johnny Flynn (Emma) and Oscar-winning legend Anthony Hopkins, who recently starred in Netflix’s acclaimed show The Two Popes.
The son of German-Jewish parents who had emigrated to the U.K. in 1907, 29-year-old stockbroker Nicholas Winton orchestrated a daring coup on the eve of World War II to save the lives of 669 mostly-Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, arranging their transport out of Prague and their arrival in foster homes in the U.K.
The “Kindertransport hero” or “British Schindler”, as he came to be called, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for “services to humanity, in saving Jewish children from Nazi Germany-occupied Czechoslovakia”.
His incredible deed remained largely unknown for decades. But in 1988, the BBC TV’s show That’s Life famously captured the heartbreaking surprise reunion between Nicholas Winton and the children he had saved, now grown-up, and some of their children and grandchildren.
He died in 2015 at the age of 106, one year after being awarded the Order of the White Lion (First Class), the highest honour in the Czech Republic.
“Despite never wanting any attention for his altruistic act, Nicky’s story and the story of those he saved must be told”, producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman told Deadline. “To be part of sharing this moment in history with the world is an extraordinary privilege”.
One Life is scheduled to release in the U.S. in December and in the U.K. early next year.