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My Knees Were Jumping - Remembering the Kindertransport (2003)

Eddie Better , Sonnie Better , Melissa Hacker  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Eddie Better, Sonnie Better, Erika Estis, Kurt Fuchel, Kurt Goldberger
  • Directors: Melissa Hacker
  • Producers: Melissa Hacker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: December 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000TSQZW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Knees Were Jumping - Remembering the Kindertransport" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, MY KNEES WERE JUMPING is the first feature-length documentary to tell the heart-wrenching story of the Kindertransport. A powerful account of this astonishing slice of Holocaust history, it is told with poigna

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Account of a Bittersweet History May 8, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful telling of the bittersweet history of one facet of the Holocaust. Melissa Hacker does an amazing job of weaving her very personal account of being the child of a Kindertransport survivor with the larger story of the project that saved the lives of a few thousand Jewish children from the Nazi deathcamps.
It just so happens that my family was friends with the Hackers in the 1970s and we even took a trip on the Rhine river together. Little did we know at the time the emotional weight that trip must have had on Ruth (Ms. Hacker's mother). But I write this as an ubiased viewer: my husband shed more tears watching this movie than I.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting account of Kindertransport survivors December 8, 2009
Format:DVD
The Kindertransport was the name given to the rescue mission in which mostly Jewish children up to the age of 17 were sent by their parents in Nazi Germany and the other occupied countries in Europe, such as Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc to the United Kingdom, in a desperate bid to keep these children safe from the horrors of the Third Reich. Up to 10,000 children were rescued this way, and spent the war years shuttled from one foster home to another, waiting for news of their loved ones. Sadly, only a small percentage were eventually reunited with their parents/families at the end of the war. The others found that they had lost their loved ones to the horror that became known as the Holocaust. Even though the number of children rescued through the Kindertransport may seem small, it is still significant, considering that 1.5 million Jewish children were killed under the Third Reich during WW II.

This documentary consists of a series of interviews with some of the survivors of the Kindertransport who at the time of this documentary's filming, had already reached an advanced age. The interviews are significant especially since there aren't that many films dedicated to this subject, and some of the survivor's recollections are downright harrowing, as in one lady's recalling of her abuse at the hands of one of the foster fathers. The common theme between these survivors is the sense of instability, of being frequently shuttled from one foster home to another. What I also liked about this documentary was the insightful interviews with the survivors' children - many of whom recall their own nightmares about the Nazis (based on the stories passed down to them by their parents). It shows that the horrors of the war were not confined to those who lived through it, but also the next generation. This is a compelling documentary about the Kindertransport survivors and will appeal to educators and those interested in WW II history pertaining to this subject.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports is a fine documentary geared primarily toward educating people about how just before World War Two almost 10,000 "Jewish and non-Aryan" children were allowed by England to enter England, Scotland and Ireland where they could live until they were eighteen years old or until they could be reunited with their parents. Sadly, a good 90% of these children never saw their parents again as they were killed in Nazi concentration camps. The film itself is very well done; there are many poignant, candid interviews with now much older people who were saved by the Kindertransports and the variety of stories is fascinating, maddening and sad. Some were abused as children while some were well fed and educated; but very few of them ever truly entered a type of foster home in which they experienced love and emotional support at a time a vulnerable child or teenager needs bolstering the most.

The film is directed very ably by Melissa Hacker; and as others have noted she focuses on her mother's childhood and other experiences. This gives us a very detailed story of just how hard it must have been to say good-bye to your parents at such a tender age while your parents tried hard not to break down and cry because they knew they might never see their children again. We also learn what eventually became of Melissa's mother, Ruth Morley, after World War Two and it's not a story I'll forget anytime soon. The other interviews with adults who were the children of the Kindertransports are skillfully done and quite interesting.

There is more to the story than just what I've written here but I will leave that out so people can experience the film without an abundance of spoilers.

The DVD comes with a few bonus extras.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My husband was one of the children on the kinder transport trains and he was delighted with how true and evocative the film was. There are more polished documentaries on this subject, but this one brought a rich personal perspective that was very rewarding to watch.
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