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Mississippi Burning
Out of the Ashes
Pleasantville (1)
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Real Women Have Curves
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Something New
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The Pianist
To Kill a Mockingbird


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The Pianist

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 his freedom.

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!” 

“The Pianist” written by Wladyslaw Szpilman

Favorite Quotation:

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.”

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