I 'd like to say I enjoyed the rare occasion of spending an evening home alone w/ my husband last night ....but I really had no idea what I was getting us into when I picked out this movie for us to watch. If I had known....I would not have watched it. I've long managed to avoid Schindler's List for similar reasons. But, in all honesty, I'm so glad I did watch it. Just considering how painful it was to watch, & the freedom I took at times to close my eyes &/or plug my ears - somehow helped me realize, even more than I did before I watched it, just how horrific the holocaust was. I was almost in shock. Wasn't until after we went to bed that tears finally stung. One thing that helped me get thru' it was knowing that this man survived ... & that this was his story - from which we can learn so much.
Winner of the prestigious Golden Palm award at the 2002 Cannes film festival, The Pianist is the film that Roman Polanski was born to direct. A childhood survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, Polanski was uniquely suited to tell the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew and concert pianist (played by Adrien Brody) who witnessed the Nazi invasion of Warsaw, miraculously eluded the Nazi death camps, and survived throughout World War II by hiding among the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto. Unlike any previous dramatization of the Nazi holocaust, The Pianist steadfastly maintains its protagonist's singular point of view, allowing Polanski to create an intimate odyssey on an epic wartime scale, drawing a direct parallel between Szpilman's tenacious, primitive existence and the wholesale destruction of the city he refuses to abandon. Uncompromising in its physical and emotional authenticity, The Pianist strikes an ultimate note of hope and soulful purity. As with Schindler's List, it's one of the greatest films ever made about humanity's darkest chapter. --Jeff Shannon