The Windermere Children is a new feature-length dramatization of a remarkable true story about hope in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The 90-minute film is based on the powerful first-person testimony of orphaned survivors who rebuilt their lives in the U.K. following World War II.
Where to Watch
See The Windermere Children on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 10 p.m. on CPTV. It will also be available to stream on PBS.org and the PBS Video App for a limited time.
More About the Program
From BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Simon Block and BAFTA- and Emmy Award®-winning director Michael Samuels, The Windermere Children is led by an incredible cast including Thomas Kretschmann (The Pianist), Romola Garai (The Miniaturist), Tim McInnerny (Strangers), and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones).
The story follows a group of child Holocaust survivors who are transported to the Calgarth Estate by Lake Windermere, England in August 1945. Carrying only the clothes they wear and a few meager possessions, they bear the emotional and physical scars of all they have suffered.
Child psychologist Oscar Friedmann (Kretschmann) is charged with looking after the children. He and his team of counselors, including art therapist Marie Paneth (Garai), philanthropist Leonard Montefiore (McInnerny), and sports coach Jock Lawrence (Glen), have four months to help the children begin to heal and reclaim their lives. They learn English, play football, ride bikes, attempt to integrate with the locals, and express their trauma through painting. Haunted by nightmares, they yearn for news of their loved ones from the Red Cross, but in the absence of relatives, the children find family in each other.
The Windermere Children is the stark, moving, and ultimately redemptive story of the bonds the children make with one another, and of how the friendships forged at Windermere sustain them as they work to rebuild their lives in the U.K.
Made in conjunction with the film, the companion documentary The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words, featuring powerful interviews from the survivors themselves, will be available to stream with CPTV Passport beginning April 3, 2020. It will air on CPTV later this year. Learn more about CPTV Passport.
A Call to Remember
On April 5, The Windermere Children will be followed at 11:30 p.m. by the half-hour documentary A Call to Remember on CPTV. David Schaecter takes viewers on an emotional journey through his life story – from a bucolic childhood amidst vineyards in Czechoslovakia, to his and his brother Jakob’s struggle for survival in Auschwitz, and finally, to David’s dramatic escape from the Nazis.
David, the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust, would eventually immigrate to the United States and help found the Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach in the hopes of educating a younger generation about World War II and the Holocaust. Through David’s story, viewers witness the cruelty of intolerance, but also the power and will of the human spirit.