In large, this is a story that has been told before, but never like this, as we get to follow both the Danish and Swedish perspective. A couple of the interviews in the film also give us information that was earlier unknown. Some of those who are interviewed have never before been asked to tell of these events, and the escape over Öresund.
Thousands of people were rescued over the strait between Helsingborg and Elsinore (Helsingør) during World War II. On the Danish side the resistance movement of the Elsinore Sewing Club collaborated with the Swedish police, the customs officials, the fishermen and the coast guards. Most prominent on the Swedish side were the four policemen known as “The Three Musketeers”.
The documentary “The Strait Escape” tries to capture the events through conversations and interviews, and digs deep into film archives and historical records. Amongst other interviews, we also meet Grace, whose father, Erling Kjaer, joined the resistance. She tells about his fate and how he saved 1.400 people across the water, but became scarred for life.
We also make the acquaintance of Sören and Karina in Elsinore, experts of the Sewing Club and authors of a book on the same subject, and Stig Püschl who bases his daily research on Snekkersten and tells about the escapes over the strait in the 1940’s.
The historian Jens Ulf-Möller is sharing the story of his mother who was a part of the resistance in Lyngby during the war, and later had to flee to Sweden. Further up in Gilleleje we meet Hanna, who fled from Germany to Denmark, and was later forced to flee from Denmark to Sweden.
Amongst them we also find Lennart from Höganäs, Sweden, who tells about his father who organized weapon transports and secret receptions of the people who came to the Swedish harbour. Then we turn to Råå where we find Stina Norling telling of how the fishermen were affected by the German occupation of Denmark. Who helped and how did they do it? We also meet Staffan in Helsingborg, Sweden, who with great knowledge tells what Helsingborg looked like during the war and why it was the Danish fishermen that saved so many people.
And finally, the author Conny Palmkvist, fills in the blanks about Sweden and tries to clarify the course of events. On his way he meets Lena Fält, whose father was one of the Swedish policemen. A moving meeting, that created a ripple effect.