In 1930s' Poland, Wladyslaw Szpilman, a brilliant Jewish pianist, is his country's most accomplished piano player, and perhaps throughout Europe. But after Germans conquer Poland, he witnesseses and endures the Nazis' growing restrictions on Jews in his nation's capital -- denying Jews access to work, to food, and even to their homes and businesses. By the early 1940s, Szpilman's world of piano concert halls has shrunk to Warsaw's infamous Jewish Ghetto, built just before WWII to contain (and starve) European Jews. Szpilman then faces the horror of seeing his family rounded up and shipped off to a Nazi death camp, while Szpilman is conscripted into a German labor compound. Deciding to escape, Szpilman goes into hiding as a Jewish refugee, and witnesses the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the City Revolt of August - October 1944. A Russian officer, demanding a near-starving Szpilman play for him, observes that his name means "player"; throughout the film, the ironies of Szpilman's sheer survival are infused with his passions, especially for music. In stark contrast to the fate of most of his people, he yet offer hope for their ultimate endurance.
Wladyslaw Szpilman (autobiographical book) and Ronald Harwood (screenplay)
With Adrien Brody as Wladyslaw Szpilman; Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman,
Warsaw Ghetto, Nazi, Poland, pianist, survival, biography
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