WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/782418

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Page 101 of 229

100 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 "What is it in a human being that gives up something that is comfortable and safe and familiar for something that is not only uncomfortable but dangerous and life threatening? … The minister and his wife, they figured out how to write in code. They figured out smuggling of human lives. They figured out how to get past Nazi guards. This is not stuff they teach you in divinity school." — K e n B u r n s • f i l m m a k e r Joukowsky had created an earlier version of the cur- rent film, screened as a work in progress, and shared it with Burns. Despite Burns' more than full plate of proj- ects and steady stream of requests from filmmakers, he agreed to help Joukowsky make his film better. Burns explains why: "Many people approach me to collaborate on films. Usually I must decline for the simple reason that I'm involved in too many projects of my own. Yet what I saw turned out to be an extraordinary diamond in the rough. I'm interested only in stories that talk to us. Who are we? is the driving question in all the work I do. And here was a story that answered that basic question in a dramatic, compelling, and unexpected way." Burns brought in actor Tom Hanks as the voice of Waitstill and Marina Goldman as the voice of Martha. It wasn't until Joukowsky was a freshman in high school that he learned about his grandparents' bravery. Given a homework assign- ment to interview a family member about an act of moral courage, Joukowsky turned to his mother for an idea. She casually suggested that he speak to his 71-year-old grandmother who lived close by and had "done some cool things in World War II." During that fateful conversa- tion, captured on his cassette tape recorder, Joukowsky heard riveting Building a More Just and Fair Society save other people's children. Their daughter, Martha Content, lived on the campus of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley with the head of the school, Helen Temple Cook. Expecting to be gone for months, the Sharps' mission lasted almost two years. The movie about the Sharps is co-directed by renowned filmmaker Ken Burns and Artemis Joukowsky III, the grandson of Waitstill and Martha Sharp. Through the use of the couple's personal correspon- dence and journal entries, archival footage, and interviews with Holocaust historians and survivors—including the now-adult chil- dren the Sharps had saved—the film brings to life the atrocity of six million killed.

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