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Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016)

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016)

Marina GoldmanTom Hanks
Ken Burns,Artemis Joukowsky


Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016) is a English movie. Ken Burns,Artemis Joukowsky has directed this movie. Marina Goldman,Tom Hanks are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016) is considered one of the best Documentary,Biography,History,War movie in India and around the world.

When seventeen others turned down the Unitarian Association's request for relief volunteers, Waitstill and Martha Sharp committed to the dangerous mission. "Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War" is the story of their humanitarian work and the effect it had on their lives. The Sharp's left their two young children behind in Wellesley, Massachusetts and traveled to Czechoslovakia to aid refugees just as war was about to break out in Europe. While abroad, they combated political and social legislation, breaking laws in order to get imperiled individuals exit visas. From involvement with black market, money laundering, to the clandestine transportation of refugees, the Sharps played a vital role in the rescue of Jews and dissidents from persecution. The film features interviews with the refugees rescued as children, now adults, who were taken to America by Martha Sharp, and interviews with family members. These personal stories highlight the impact of social change and the effect of the ...


Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War (2016) Reviews

  • One of Ken Burns' best


    This short documentary chronicles the lives and work of Waitstill and Martha Sharp – dedicated Unitarian ministry couple who worked at great peril to themselves in Prague and France to help Jews and others escape destruction at the hands of Hitler's Nazis. This is a typical Ken Burns documentary with outstanding recollections of the many of those who were saved interspersed with letters etc. from the Sharps. The music, re- enactments, and narration make for a very dramatic and tense retelling of the exploits of this couple. And, as in all his films, the story being told is more than the story itself. It delves into how some people are willing to risk their lives and fortune for others; how families were willing to give up precious time with their families for others; and, of course, how Hitler's regime was the embodiment of evil on the earth. It also touches on the fears of immigration and blatant racism prevalent in 1940's America. JOHN 15:13 was in my mind as I watched this file: "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." The Sharps did this out of a love for humanity, a commitment to social justice and because someone had to do something about the situation. This is a very dramatic and tense story which is portrayed in the most effective fashion by Burns. The rescue of Mr. X (unidentified to this day) from Prague in 1939 and the rescue of numerous French Jews across the French Alps into Spain are as suspenseful as any modern movie. And, of course, this was true. The bravery and commitment of this couple put to shame the French capitulators who were hunting down their own countrymen to turn them over to their conquerors. It also put to shame their own America's leaders who knew about the atrocities of the holocaust, but decided to just focus on a military victory as the quickest way to send the suffering; therefore, doing nothing to impede the genocide of the Jewish population of Europe. In addition, the scenes of the Czechs shipping their children off to escape the clutches of the Nazis was poignant and extremely touching. As I watched this, I was wishing that today's younger generation would see this and get a sense of how life can be and how important it is for Christian values and freedom to reign in our country. This is not Ken Burns' best or most well-known film. But it is one which needs to be seen. If it only inspires a few people in America today to do "the right thing," it will have met its purpose. You can find the film at the library or watch it on line at: m4ufree.tv/ I hope you watch it. You will be moved by it. DonB

  • Powerful Documentary


    I was able to find a DVD copy of this powerful documentary at my local library. The film, co-directed by Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, is narrated by Tom Hanks and Marina Goldman. The movie depicts the dangerous and harrowing missions of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, who prior to and during WW2 ventured from their home in Massachusetts all across the continent of Europe. As members of the Unitarian Church, and despite the peril of the times, they felt compelled to aid and help Jews and other persecuted peoples, with their goal being to save them from Nazi extermination. Certainly, an important part of their mission was also to save as many children as possible, helping organize their departure from Nazi occupied lands, as their parents were unable to obtain visas. I thought the documentary was meticulously researched, quite engrossing, and contained a good balance of archival footage, photographs, eyewitness accounts, and interviews. Overall, this is a strong addition to the list of films that have depicted the bravery and self-sacrifice of those persons, such as the Sharps, who risked their own lives to save so many amidst the Nazi horrors in WW2.

  • The documentary is pretty weak, but the information very important


    The documentary itself is quite weak. The information is very important. It talks about individuals being virtuous by being individuals. And it talks about the masses that did all the monstrosities by being a part of the state. Few seem to note that all the Sharps did is already illegal can leads to a suspension of civil rights and long prison times already in the whole of Europe. Only the regimes are less murderous.

  • One-off documentary feature from Ken Burns


    DEFYING THE NAZIS is another war-themed documentary from the exemplary Ken Burns. It's slightly different to the others I've seen as it's a one-off feature documentary rather than a lengthy series. The story is simpler and more straightforward and involves a 'Schindler's List' style couple helping refugees escape Nazi-occupied Europe. The Sharps were an ordinary American couple tasked with heading off to Czechoslovakia and then France to help Jewish children and their families escape persecution. This documentary boasts splendid production values and a wonderful mix of footage, photographs, and narrated letters from the era. As usual, Burns has got folk like Tom Hanks to supply their vocal talent and the result is as strong as ever.


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