“My grandfather declared war on Germany from the pulpit” -Artemis Joukowsky
Filmmaking legend Ken Burns says his new PBS documentary Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, narrated by Tom Hanks, is unlike any he has made before.
The 90-minute film, co-directed by Burns and Artemis Joukowsky, tells the story of an American minister and his wife who travelled to Europe in the lead-up to and during WWII to rescue dissidents and refugees.
Burns, who said he is working on “about eight films” told the Television Critics’ Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour the storyline, told cinematically through the Sharps’ letters and journals, was incredibly powerful.
He added: “Out of 30 films in the last 40 years, this is different than any other. I didn’t shoot a single interview.”
Burns also joked about having Tom Hanks as a recurring narrator, saying: “I would urge you to take a look at his career, I think he’s going someplace…”
— PBS SoCal (KOCE) (@PBSSoCal) July 28, 2016
To rescue the adults and children they helped to safety, the Sharps had to come up with all sorts of clever ruses to get past the Nazis.
Their incredible selflessness also meant the Massachusetts-based couple — who were Artemis’s grandparents — had to leave their own two children at home.
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War features Tom Hanks as the voice of Waitsill Sharp and Marina Goldman as the voice of Martha.
It airs on September 20 at 9pm on PBS. Also, happy birthday (July 29) to Mr. Burns!
Watch the trailer for Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War
— Ken Burns (@KenBurns) July 28, 2016