A Masterpiece About a Musical Master

Remember that smooch Adrien Brody planted on Hallie Berry at the 2002 Oscars when he won best actor for “The Pianist?” A memorable moment in Oscar ceremony history.

The film, which also earned Roman Polanski a best director Oscar and won best adapted screenplay as well, was based on Wladyslaw Szpilman’s harrowing account of his five-year ordeal during the Holocaust, first published in Poland in 1946 under the title “Death of a City.”

Szpilman’s memoir details how he survived the German deportations of Jews to the camps, the 1943 destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.

Polanski’s inspiration for adapting the true story for the screen came from the fact that he himself had been a prisoner of the Polish ghetto during World War II. He had returned to Poland from France with his parents just two years before WW II. Both of his parents were taken to concentration camps, where his mother eventually died. With the help of his father, who pushed him through the barbed wire of a camp, Roman escaped the ghetto and traveled through the Polish countryside where he lived with different Catholic families, ultimately reuniting with his father in 1945.

Widely regarded as his strongest and most personal film to date, it is also considered one of the finest Holocaust films ever made. “By comparison, Schindler’s List is Pretentious Hollywood crap,” according to “Three Movie Buffs” website.

“The Pianistis an elegy to Warsaw and testament to human faith and the power of music.  The movie’s tagline aptly sums up this exceptional drama: “Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece.”

For tickets to the screening of  “The Pianist” on Tuesday June 5 at 7:00 pm, visit www.thedairy.org. The film is presented by Menorah in conjunction with the Colorado Music Festival’s Rediscovered Masters series honoring the work of Holocuast composers.

 

College Career Consulting

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time." kathryn.bernheimer@gmail.com

Check Also

He’s In The Breeze Through The Shivering Trees

A new poem by Lisa Tremback, dedicated to Henry Rasoff.

JCC Denver Mizel Arts & Culture Center Announces 12+ Events with Social Justice Theme During Year-Long JAAMM

The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center is kicking off its 2020-2021 season full of arts and culture events through the13th Annual Neustadt JAAMM Festival. The festival will bring nationally and globally recognized figures in arts and culture to homes across Colorado through entirely virtual content.

One comment