In 1939, Waitstill and Martha Sharp, a Unitarian minister and his social worker wife, left their two young children with their parish in Wellesley, Massachusetts and travelled to German-occupied Czechoslovakia. At great personal risk they worked for several months securing exit visas for Jews and dissidents. On a subsequent visit they helped groups of vulnerable children escape to America, never doubting their end goal or questioning their own safety.
Filmmaker Joukowsky, the Sharps’ grandson, structures this inspiring tale of quiet heroism around letters that Waitstill and Martha exchanged during their months in Europe (read by Hanks and Goldman). Trained only briefly in espionage, they accepted their perilous mission with courage and righteous determination. The use of archival footage only reinforces the enormity of their task, and testimonials from the children they helped add poignancy to this stunning portrait of ordinary people attempting the extraordinary.