Bleeker Street

The new film One Life is all about how much one person can do when they’re determined to save others. It tells the true story of Nicholas Winton, a stockbroker in London in the 1930s who helped saved hundreds of mostly Jewish children from the Nazis by sending them on trains from Prague to Britain as Adolf Hitler‘s army took over Czechoslovakia. Helena Bonham Carter plays Winton’s mother in the film, and she tells ABC Audio the film shows that “an army of ordinary people” can achieve a lot if they put their minds to it.

“Actually, this man was a stockbroker,” she says. “He was a sort of ‘ordinary,’ as they say.”

Bonham Carter thinks the film will likely have people thinking about comparisons between that time and the world we live in today, explaining, “I think we all feel completely impotent and guilty and, like, are we doing enough? Are we doing anything? How do we do anything, can we? So hopefully this gives people a sense of potency, you know, and sense of agency.”

Bonham Carter got to meet some of the surviving children, who are actually part of the film — an experience she describes as touching history.

“I did meet some of them … [one woman] gave me her actual, the label that she wore,” she shares. “It’s chilling. When you actually touch history, you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, this is extraordinary.'”

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