The brilliant director, Roman Polanski (Oliver
Twist), brings us this amazing story of
the actual life of Wladyslaw Szpilman.
Szpilman was the most accomplished piano player
in all of Poland, if not Europe, during the
devastating 1930’s. When World War II
broke out, however, Szpilman suffered the same
harsh consequences that other Jews in Europe
were subjected to. Anti-Jewish laws were
forced upon him by the tyrannical Nazis.
By the beginning of the 1940s, Szpilman said
farewell to concert halls and was abruptly welcomed
into the Jewish Ghetto of Warsaw. He had
to watch his family being deported to death
camps and he was forced to work in a German
labor camp. Szpilman decides to escape this
fate and goes into hiding as a Jewish refugee.
He bears witness to both the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
and the Warsaw City Revolt in 1945. In
the final moments of the war, having miraculously
survived by eating whatever he could find and
drinking frozen bath water, Szpilman is rescued
by German Captain Wilm Hosenfeld. Hosenfeld
learns that Szpilman is a pianist when he plays
Chopin’s "Nocturned in C sharp minor"
on an old, worn-down, out-of-tune piano.
Adrien Brody (The Jacket) is excellent
as Szpilman. He beautifully portrays the
amazing, tragic circumstances that the pianist
endured to simply stay alive and to ascertain
This movie is rated R for violence and language.
The Pianist was nominated for seven
Academy Awards: Best Actor, Best Director, Best
Writing, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously
Produced or Published, (all of which it won),
as well as Best Cinematography, Best Editing,
Best Costume Design and Best Picture.
Why I Recommend It:
This movie is visually stunning and yet disturbing.
It portrays a terrible time in history that
should always be remembered, so that we may
never live it again. This movie is a testament
to one man, who unlike many others, managed
to live through the devastatingly incomprehensible
time that was The Holocaust. The acting
and directing is superb.
Why This is Important:
This movie is important because it tells the
true story of one man’s struggle, as well
as the struggle of others during the Holocaust.
Movies like these are important because they
stand up to the ignorance spewed by Holocaust-deniers.
Such movies say, “Yes, this tragedy did
happen and can never be forgotten!”
Pianist” written by Wladyslaw Szpilman
Wladyslaw Szpilman: “I don't know
how to thank you.”
Captain Wilm Hosenfeld: “Thank
God, not me. He wants us to survive. Well, that's
what we have to believe.”