Prime Minister Iveta Radicova attended the London premiere of Nicky's Family, a documentary that tells the story of 102-year-old Sir Nicholas Winton - a man who rescued hundreds of Czech and Slovak Jewish children from a bleak fate in the run-up to WWII.
The premiere took place at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). The documentary, directed and produced by Slovaks Matej Minac and Patrik Pass, has won critical acclaim, taking home prestigious awards at international film festivals in Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), Jerusalem and Montreal.
Twelve of the total of 699 children that Winston helped to escape throughout 1939 attended the premiere. Also part of the programme was Jana Kirschner's performance of Wiegala, a song that Ilse Weber - the mother of one of the rescued children - composed while in Terezin concentration camp.
Radicova, under whose auspices the premiere took place, told that the documentary conveys an extraordinary story. According to her, the most remarkable aspect is that Winton never spoke about his praiseworthy actions. He didn't seek fame or recognition, and all he really wanted to do was to help the children survive. Had it not been for a coincidence, the children and the world would never have found out who rescued them. "The very essence of ethics is to help others, unselfishly and altruistically," said Radicova.
Pass admitted that he felt nervous prior to the big premiere, but quickly relaxed when he saw the positive reactions of the British audience. "Balance is important in life. When I get something, I have to be able to give back in return," said Pass, adding that the film-making process changed him and inspired him to put his ego aside and serve others. The premiere in London will be followed by others in New York and Washington, before the film is launched in cinemas across the U.S.A.