One Life TIFF

On Saturday, I viewed the tremendous film “One Life” with Anthony Hopkins starring as Nicholas Winton as an English stockbroker in a true story. He helped save hundreds of children during the holocaust. The movie is based on the book If It’s Not Impossible, written by Winton’s daughter Barbara. Let’s just say there was no dry eye in the house during this beautiful, heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming film. The surprise during the Q&A afterward, about 20 survivors were in the audience, and all were asked to stand.

Winton is in his 80s and finds papers that tell the story of how he helped save hundreds of children living in the Czech Republic. What makes this story more personal for me is that I have visited there and taken a tour of the concentration camp Terezin, where thousands of Jews were held until they were sent to the death camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka.

Johnny Flynn plays younger Winton as a determined person on a mission similar to “Schindler’s List” (1983), played by Liam Neeson. Winton helped groups of Jewish children in German-occupied Czechoslovakia to hide and flee in 1938–39, just before the beginning of the war. He visited German-occupied Czechoslovakia, saying, “I have seen this for myself, and I can not unsee it.” He began by enlisting the help of his persistent mother, played by the talented Helena Bonham Carter, and other work colleagues, one saying, “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” Ultimately, he saved 669 children; of the 1,500 left, only 200 survived. It’s an unsung hero’s story and dedication to helping children and families.

I loved this movie! Every person in the photo above that is standing was saved by Nicholas Winton. Johnny Flynn did a fantastic job as the younger Nicholas, as did Anthony Hopkins. I strongly advise you to see this gem of a historical movie.

Director: James Hawes

Screenplay writers: Lucinda Coxon, Nick Drake


Anthony Hopkins, Nicky Winton

Johnny Flynn, Young Nicky

Helena Bonham Carter, ‘Babi’ Babette / Barbara Winton

Lena Olin, Grete Winton

Romola Garai, Doreen Warriner

Alex Sharp, Trevor Chadwick

Studio: Warner Bros

Sarah Knight Adamson© September 10, 2023