Prof. Hirchfelder, K-213
ENG2102, Sec. 06
26 March 2013
Scene Analysis Paper
The 2002 film, The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski focuses on the hardships of a well-known, local concert pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman. Wladyslaw Szpilman is played by actor Adrien Brody, who does an excellent job portraying both the warmhearted side of Szpliman and the desperate struggling side we see later on in the film. The film is based on Szpilman’s book, The Pianist where he discusses true events he underwent during the German takeover of Warsaw. He was one of twenty survivors out of the 360,000 Jewish people killed from Warsaw, Poland. “Passion for Survival in Polanski’s The Pianist” by Diana Diamond reflects the direct and indirect use of music throughout the film. Diamond uses multiple scenes and circumstances to support her thoughts on Szpilman’s characterization as a pianist.
Throughout The Pianist, Szpilman goes through a significant amount of trauma, whether it be done to him personally, his family or to strangers in his surroundings. Polanski uses many horrific scenes to prove just how brutal the German police are. Diamond identifies one in particular in her article, which stands out to me as well. “The Nazi’s disrupt a family at dinner, tossing an old man in a wheelchair out of the window for failing to rise when they enter and Johnson 2
shooting the rest of the family as they run down the street” (427). The German police clearly have no mercy on any of the Jewish citizens of Warsaw. This is only the beginning of the twisted and remorseless actions the German’s render upon the Jews.
After about two hours into the film, Szpilman has reached his lowest point. He has been bombed out of just about every hiding place he can find, escaped control under Jewish police and is now struggling to survive in an abandoned house. The director, Polanski, throws certain elements into the scene to depict him this way. He is...