Anthony Hopkins in One Life (2023)

Prague-shot ‘One Life’, with Anthony Hopkins as Nicholas Winton, unveils first images

One Life, a historical drama starring Anthony Hopkins as Holocaust hero Nicholas Winton, has unveiled its first images courtesy of distributor Warner Brothers. The movie will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which will be held from September 7-17.

Sir Nicholas Winton was a British stockbroker who helped rescue hundreds of Jewish children from Czechoslovakia on the verge of World War II. Winton’s act of compassion went largely forgotten for 50 years until a TV appearance on That’s Life in 1988 that reunited him with some of the then-adult children who he helped save.

Hopkins plays Winton later in life, and during the That’s Life appearance. Johnny Flynn stars as the younger Winton who helped arrange the transport for hundreds of children from Prague. Production of One Life took place on location in both the United Kingdom and in the Czech Republic last autumn.

Johnny Flynn in One Life (2023)
Johnny Flynn in One Life (2023)

One Life also stars Helena Bonham Carter (as Winton’s mother Babette), Romola Garai, Lena Olin, Jonathan Pryce, Marthe Keller, Alex Sharp, Samantha Spiro, and Adrian Rawlins.

The movie was partially filmed at Prague’s Main Train Station (Hlavní nádraží), which was the actual location where Winton helped hundreds of children leave Czechoslovakia by rail for Britain. A statue of Winton transporting children with luggage was unveiled at the station in 2009. Prague’s Main Train Station, by the way, is one of the most-popular locations for filmmakers shooting in the Czech capital.

One Life was directed by James Hawes, who has worked extensively on series such as Slow Horses, Snowpiercer, and Black Mirror and will make his feature debut with the WWII drama. Hawes is currently directing the Rami Malek thriller The Amateur, which was also scheduled to film in Prague, but production has been paused due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Helena Bonham Carter in One Life (2023)
Helena Bonham Carter in One Life (2023)

Screenwriters Lucinda Coxon and Nick Drake adapted the book If It’s Not Impossible…The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton, written by Winton’s daughter Barbara Winton, for the production of One Life.

Sometimes billed as the “British Schindler”, Winton helped save a total of 669 Jewish children from Nazis persecution as part of the Kindertransport project. The number of their children and grandchildren is estimated to be over 6,000. The film’s title is taken from a line in the Talmud: “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

A general release date for One Life after its Toronto premiere has yet to be announced.

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

2 Responses

  1. I am of Czech descent and am looking forward so much to this and any others representing our very admirable Country

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