My Knees Were Jumping


One of the little-known
stories of the Holocaust is
recounted in heartrending
detail in Melissa Hacker’s doc about the Kindertransports,
a rescue mission organized
by a group of British Jews and
Quakers that saved nearly 10,000 children from the
concentration camps. The movement was set up in 1938, after the British Parliament passed a bill allowing the threatened children to enter England. To its shame, the
U.S. Congress turned down similar legislation.

Hacker intercuts talking-head interviews and passages of rare and moving archival footage. She centers the film on her mother, Ruth Morley— one
of the lucky kids transported out of Austria— who eventually
became a successful costume designer (The Miracle Worker, Taxi Driver). Like most of those interviewed, Morley admits that she had hardly ever spoken of her wartime experiences
before— even to her own
children. These grown-up Kinder all seem to have gone through adult lives haunted by lingering survivor’s guilt.