The film recounts the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife from Wellesley, Massachusetts, who, over a two-year period, committed to helping save the lives of dissidents and refugees fleeing Nazi occupation across Europe before and after World War II.
Defying the Nazis utilizes the letters and journals of the Sharps, with Tom Hanks voicing Waitstill and Marina Goldman providing the voice of his wife, Martha. The doc also features firsthand accounts with the now-adult children whom the Sharps saved, as well as leading historians, authors and Holocaust academics.
“The story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp is one of the most incredible tales of compassion, sacrifice and heroism that I have ever heard, and I was completely unaware of it until five years ago when Artemis Joukowsky first shared it with me,” said Burns in a statement.
The distribution arm of PBS has sent the film to Israel’s DBS, Brazil’s Globosat and the UK’s PBS America. All other territories are currently available for sales.
PBS International’s slate for this week’s MIPCOM market in Cannes also includes: biographical film Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive; miniseries Ancient Bible Destinations of Greece; and Time for School, which features the struggles of five children across the globe to receive basic education.