The Pianist and the Plight of the Jews

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The Pianist

Directed by Roman Polanski

Principal Actors: Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman

Run-time: Two hours and twenty-nine minutes

Thousands of the stories about the German Nazi’s war atrocities during World War II have followed their Jewish victims into their make shift mass graves to be silenced for eternity. For every Auschwitz that is recorded in the History books, there are hundreds of unknown and untold stories of the horrors performed on unsuspecting and undeserving victims, whose voices were erased from ever pointing blame or ever being heard. For a lucky few, even though the word lucky might be challenged, they averted death at the hands of the Nazis. These few went on to be living documents of the senseless and brutal nature of the treatment of Jews in German occupied territory during World War II. In the movie The Pianist, one such victim’s story is told, Wladyslaw Szpilman, a well-known Polish composer of the time, lived to write about his experiences in the Warsaw ghetto and the persecution of the Jews at the violent hands of the Nazi Germans. Director Roman Polanski, a Jewish ghetto camp survivor himself, takes Szpilman’s tragic story and displays it on the screen in a way that shows the desperate and helpless plight of the Jews against the tyrannical and unwavering brutal hands of the Nazi soldiers.

Facts and statistics are static and void of emotion. Numbers point to the finality of an event, the outcome, and if too much time is spent on the sheer numbers of an action, the story and emotion can be lost in the translation. While the numbers of the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust are staggering, six million Jews killed.The numbers can fog the particulars. Polanski seeks to make it personal; he sits the viewer at the kitchen table of the...
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