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The Windermere Children

 (917)
7.21 h 28 min202012
August 1945. Child survivors of the Holocaust are brought to Windermere to recuperate under the supervision of a group of volunteer therapists. In the absence of their families, they must find kinship in each other.
Directors
Michael Samuels
Starring
Thomas KretschmannIain GlenTim Mcinnerny
Genres
DramaInternational
Subtitles
None Available
Audio Languages
English
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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More details

Supporting actors
Romola GaraiMarcel Sabat
Producers
Michael Samuels
Studio
Dazzler Media
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

917 global ratings

  1. 72% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

James MurchisonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 June 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
definitely one to watch
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Heartfelt congratulations to those who financed and made this film. Everyone should watch this, especially teenagers who have no idea how their counterparts 70 years ago in part of Europe suffered. (Ignore the reviewer who complains that the film should have been dubbed - the authentic language difficulties are an integral part of the story, as should be obvious!)
39 people found this helpful
Philip G. BrownReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Flat, po-faced, prudish Euro-pudding.
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I know let's make a film about the (hushed tones) holocaust.
Yes!
And we'll set it in that pretty part of England called the Lake District.
Yes, yes!
I wrote a script last night on my Amstrad and it's ever so...
Reverential?
Yes, but it's also full of the best clichés and platitudes I could think of.
Perfect!
Well, we don't want to frighten the children do we?
Certainly not.
But we do want to chime in with 21st century values, don't we?
Most certainly, we must be trendy.
Trendy that's the word, and so we'll have a group of stupid, ignorant English boys who are hopeless at football, despite playing in a league, and a group of sweet, wholesome English girls who can also be just a little cheeky.
Fabulous!
And here's my master stroke...
I can't wait!
A little girl called Bela leading a group of tiny boy tots who do everything she says.
Ecstasy!
But unfortunately after hiding under a log they have to disappear from the film completely.
Ah! The budget.
Yes, we've had to make some compromises.
Oh, but you've spent thousands on all those plates.
Which means we're going to have to economise on the food. Bread only, I'm afraid, though Kosher of course.
Yes, and bread is a symbol.
Bread is a symbol, I like it. We'll get the Rabbi to cut it in fifty different scenes.
What about the actors?
We don't need actors when we've got stereotypes.
True, but the director, surely a good director?
Oh no, we'll get a TV director who's 'resting' and can only speak English. And we'll end it like the Sound of Music, with happy children dancing over the mountains.
Switzerland, Julie..?
Talk sense dear.

The only part of the film that was of any interest was the old geezers talking at the end. Subtitled and gaudily coloured.
22 people found this helpful
Sally TReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 June 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
The resilience of the human spirit!
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What a wonderful story, very sad to imagine what the children went through, but far from the brutality, with the help of the kindness and understanding of a group of people, these children, slowly, begin to learn that life is wonderful after all, and that there will be no more darkness, but hope and a future full of light. At the end of the film, some of the rescued children, now grown old, who are still alive, tell us what a miracle their life has been. It is a lesson that we all must learn.
25 people found this helpful
GrandmaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 February 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A very moving film
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One of the nicest and yet saddest films I've ever had the privilege to watch.
32 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 March 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
the subtitles spoiled the film
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We know they where Polish but the film should have been dubbed instead of subtitles which spoiled the whole film.
19 people found this helpful
Rose GayleReviewed in the United Kingdom on 07 May 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very touching movie
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This was a very touching movie bringing you into the lives of children who had grown up in and were rescued from a concentration camp in Poland. I enjoyed it. It was heartfelt and I especially liked the interviews with some of the actual men who had come to Camp Windermere.
15 people found this helpful
FestiveLadyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 August 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
"The War's over. They need to move forward." "Not so easy when everyone you love lies in the past."
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Review contains mild spoilers. The first half is heart-breaking, and it'll raise your ire at the concentration camp atrocities. The film brings home its points by showing the children's reactions to ordinary things but which actually recall aspects of the concentration camp. Towards the film's end you feel uplifted as you're delighted for the young children and their progress. But the transition between start and end doesn't flow and unfortunately is less convincing.

The middle part of the film moves between scenes and there's no connection between scenes that seem symbolic only. The film's based on true events so those scenes may've happened and we're seeing them summarised. For instance: the children's paintings - instead of concentrating on the children there's a long discussion between two supervising adults; the woman with a dog (and two scenes with several local youths) represent the turning of local hostility; water/lake scenes which are shown but not explained; and a long talk scene between the staff (again, not concentrating on the children). That's a shame as by now you're invested in the young people - you now knowe Arek, Icek, Salek, Chaim etc. by name, circumstance and personality, and you want good things for them. But now you rarely see them. Their bonding is summarised in an all too short scene in a wood (you'll know it when you see it). Essentially, this film needed to be longer to allow better treatment of the middle scenes. The film's only 88 minutes including titles.

The film is beautifully shot. It had a low budget. It shouted that it wasn't filmed at Windermere, not the Lake District, not Cumbria. It was filmed in Northern Ireland. Yes the original Calgarth estate no longer exists but it would've been nice to have some Windermere reference shots with some of the cast in view. That wouldn't have cost too much extra as most of the action takes place in and around the location set that represented Calgarth.

Well-known actors Iain Glen ('Downton Abbey', 'Game of Thrones') and Tim McInerny ('Blackadder') play their parts suitably low-key.

It's very important that true life stories from that era be told. I recommend the film. But be generous to the film-makers as necessary. The final real-life scene and 'what happened to them afterwards' text are vital, otherwise the children you've come to know would simply leave the screen abruptly, and it's both touching and fitting to see the real people and hear their words.
6 people found this helpful
KellyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 February 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant film
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This is the best film we have seen for a long time , very moving film and everyone should watch this . Shows the importance of being kind to all humans .
10 people found this helpful
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