Sir Winston Churchill was respected worldwide for his relationship-building skills during World War II. But the late British prime minister also enjoyed building other things.
At his beloved home Chartwell, Churchill relaxed by laying brick walls. He enjoyed the activity so much that he joined the local bricklayers’ organization. That enjoyment far outweighed his skill at the craft. During its construction, one particular wall was so crooked that Churchill’s devoted staff members took apart the bricks and wet mortar and rebuilt it while their employer was taking a break. Churchill returned and marveled with great satisfaction at how straight “his” wall looked.
That ability to build loyalty served Churchill well during the war years. A new documentary opening March 4 at The Loft Cinema delves into his intimate and public moments that shaped England’s war effort. “Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny” recounts Churchill’s years in the political wilderness, his early opposition to Adolf Hitler and Nazism, and his support for Jews under threat by the Nazi regime. The film also focuses on his return to government by the demand of the British people and his rise to the prime minister’s office in 1940.
The film was created by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s two-time Academy Award-winning Moriah Films. “Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny” was written by Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal center and Mariah Films, and Richard Trank, Moriah’s executive producer and the film’s director.
Narrated by Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley, the 101-minute documentary captures the troubled feel of the era by using diary entries, interviews with Churchill’s family members and historians, film footage, photos and newspaper headlines to depict Churchill’s world prior to and during the war. Hearing Churchill’s often-imitated voice during his radio addresses drove home the horrors of war and the difficult messages the world leader had to convey while attempting to prevent Hitler’s world domination and then deal with England under siege.
The story, its players and world events are explained in simple terms that even non-historians can understand. It also provides enough detail about the life of the man some called “the greatest figure of the 20th century” to capture the attention of those who lived through it.
“Winston Churchill: Walking with Destiny” opens March 4 at The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway. The 7 p.m. screening on March 5 is co-presented by the Tucson International Jewish Film Festival. A question-and-answer period will follow this screening.