The true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works for a while as a laborer, and eventually goes into hiding in the ruins of the war-torn city.
|Release Date||:||September 24, 2002|
|Production Company||:||Bac Films, Canal+Polska, Heritage Films, Studio Babelsberg, Agencja Produkcji Filmowej, Beverly Detroit, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg (FBB), Mainstream S.A., R.P. Productions, StudioCanal, Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA), Canal+, Interscope Communications, Telewizja Polska (TVP), Runteam|
|Production Countries||:||France, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom|
|Director||:||Roman Polanski, Sylvette Baudrot, Weronika Migon, Zbigniew Gruz, Caroline Veyssière|
|Writers||:||Ronald Harwood, Wladyslaw Szpilman|
|Casts||:||Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox, Ed Stoppard, Julia Rayner, Jessica Kate Meyer, Michal Zebrowski, Wanja Mues, Richard Ridings, Nomi Sharron, Anthony Milner, Lucy Skeaping, Roddy Skeaping, Ben Harlan, Thomas Lawinky, Joachim Paul Assböck, Roy Smiles, Paul Bradley, Daniel Caltagirone, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Detlev von Wangenheim, Popeck, Zofia Czerwińska, Udo Kroschwald, Uwe Rathsam, Joanna Brodzik, Katarzyna Bargiełowska, Maja Ostaszewska, John Bennett, Cyril Shaps, Wojciech Smolarz, Lech Mackiewicz, Ruth Platt, Peter Rappenglück, Ronan Vibert, Krzysztof Pieczyński, Katarzyna Figura, Valentine Pelka, Andrew Tiernan, Tom Strauss, Cezary Kosinski, Paweł Burczyk, Nina Franoszek, John Keogh, Rafał Mohr, Andrzej Pieczynski, Morgane Polanski, Grzegorz Artman, Adam Bauman, Andrzej Szenajch, Zbigniew Dziduch, Marian Dziędziel, Jerzy Góralczyk, Jaroslaw Kopaczewski, Patrick Lanagan, Dorota Liliental, Norbert Rakowski, Piotr Siejka, Tomasz Tyndyk, Andrzej Walden, Zbigniew Walerys, Maciej Winkler, Tadeusz Wojtych, Andrzej Zieliński, Paweł Małaszyński, Axel Prahl, Borys Szyc, Rafał Dajbor, Adrian Hood, Ryszard Kluge, Maciej Kowalewski|
|Plot Keywords||:||resistance, hunger, world war ii, prisoners of war, homeland, deportation, hiding place, ghetto riot, jew persecution, liberation, warsaw ghetto, polish resistance, nazis, biography, classical music, survival, pianist|
I remember seeing "Schindler's list" about ten years ago, and I remember how weird I felt for being almost completely unmoved by it. Although it showed the horrors of holocaust quite realistically, somehow it all seemed just a bit too fake and exaggerated. Characters were a bit off (I still can't decide who was more over the top, Schindler or Goeth), fake sentimentalism was all over the place, . While it was a work of art and an important reminder of true events that shouldn't be forgotten, on emotional level it just somehow failed to deliver.
Enter "The Pianist". With no Spielberg around to put his trademark sappy material, we finally have a movie that shows the true horror and tragedy of Jewish people in World War II. The story is told through the eyes of one man - Wladislaw Szpielman, Jewish pianist who works in a radio station in Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland. Together with him we watch his world getting torn apart, witness his family being taken away, his existence being reduced to bare essentials. Brody gives a subtle yet spectacular performance, his best work yet. And never once are we reminded that we are watching a movie. Everything is shown from Szpielman's point of view, and it is all very gritty and realistic. While Spielberg's rendition of German atrocities always had a slightly staged feel to augment their dramatic purpose, here they are so true to life there impact is much greater - you watch and are being reminded in horror that this things actually happened.
While being very hard to watch sometimes, this is a movie that "Schindler's List" was supposed to be. This movie doesn't judge anybody, or tries to explain anything - it shows historical events as a reflection of one man's fate, making a powerful testimony that stays with you long after the beautiful last shot and the end credits are over.