I bought "The Pianist" awhile back but never got around to watching it until tonight.
I have just had the most bizarre movie watching experiences these past few days. We will get back to this more later.
If you don't know, "The Pianist" is about Wladyslaw Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody), who was a pianist and composer. He was a Jew living in Poland during WWII. The movie begins by showing how normal his life was before the war began. He lived with his mother, father, brother, and two sisters. They seemed to be all in their twenties. You get a sense that they were "well-off", middle class I assume. They were well-dressed, and well-fed. His sisters were beautiful and the brothers were very handsome. We get the idea that Szpilman was admired by his city for his talents in music; he played on the Polish radio. His entire life was turned upsidedown when the Nazi's came to power. We are taken through the story of Szpilman's survival; the lone survivor of his family. Throughout the movie we are reminded of the Holocaust in all its horrific events. We see small stories of "Gentiles" who tried to help and hide Szpilman, only to be killed themselves. We see the kindness from a certain German soldier, who discovers Szpilman and saves his life. It is quite graphic. At times my stomach began to turn just at the thought that this had actually happened...not even 100 years ago. I tried to understand how someone could be so cruel, to want to kill millions and millions of people only because of their race. May I remind you that the same thing is happening today; in Darfur, and now in Kenya. Please, do not think that these sinful acts have stopped. Don't tell me that we have learned our lesson when all we do is turn our backs on the realities of today.
I continued to watch the "bonus" material after the movie was over. I found it very interesting that the director of the movie, Roman Polanski, had experienced the Holocaust himself. His mother died in the concentration camps (as a Catholic), and he and his father survived. I began to research the movie a bit more because I knew it was nominated for so many awards (over 40). And as I was researching, I found a comment that said that Polanski also directed "Rosemary's Baby", and his wife was killed by Charles Manson. I found these things to be quite astonishing. As I continued to read I found that Polanski wasn't able to accept his academy award for "best director" because he couldn't return to America. Apparently, he had been convicted of raping a 13-year girl (In America) and somehow fled overseas. If he returns then he will go to prison. Now, this was also quite astonishing to me. I tried thinking this all through in my head, trying to make sense of how a man could be so in the media spotlight for being a convicted rapist but not be brought to justice. Did all these actors, actresses, and movie workers just not care as they filmed this movie? Did they not care that this man had raped a young woman and fled like a coward so not to go to jail? I guess so. I found this very bizzare indeed.
Isn't it sad how the cycle is never ending? You would think that someone who had been through so much as a child, lost his mother, had everything taken away from him, was hated for something he couldn't change...his life was taken away, his innocence lost, his life would never be the same. This person, could go and do this to someone else. It's just very sad.