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Sarah's Key [DVD] [2010]

192 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup
  • Directors: Gilles Paquet-Brenner
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen, HiFi Sound
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Nov. 2011
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00505QAP4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,095 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Oscar® nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long, The English Patient) stuns in this incredibly moving drama.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten-year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard – their secret hiding place – and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released. Sixty seven years later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond (Scott Thomas), an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her family’s future.


  • Making Of
  • Trailer


An intrepid journalist brings the past to life in this gripping drama. An American based in Paris, Julia Jarmond (Tell No One's Kristin Scott Thomas) has been working on a piece about a French atrocity while planning to move into an apartment that belongs to her husband Bertrand's family. During the course of her research, she finds that 10-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance, a sparky presence) lived in the same Marais flat until 1942 when French authorities wrenched Jewish citizens from their homes during the notorious Vél d'Hiver Roundup (Julia's daughter is only a year older). Unbeknownst to anyone but her parents, Sarah locked up her 4-year-old brother in a hidden closet in hopes of returning to set him free him later, but the trio ends up in a transit camp en route to Auschwitz. Sarah will eventually escape, but the years to come will not be easy. In adapting Tatiana de Rosnay's novel, director Gilles Paquet-Brenner, the son of a deportee, moves back and forth between Sarah and Julia, who finds out she's pregnant in the midst of trips to Florence and New York, but Bertrand doesn't share her joy. A French farmer (A Prophet's Niels Arestrup) and a food writer (Aidan Quinn) also figure into Sarah's story, which merges with Julia's as she finds a way to carry on her legacy. Much as in Julie and Julia, the past proves more compelling than the present, though Scott Thomas holds the narrative together with the force of her talent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By janebbooks on 6 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
SARAH'S KEY~~~~~~ novel: Tatiana de Rosnay~~~~~~~ film: Gilles Paquel-Brenner

The best plot summary of this film are words taken from a starred review by Publishers Weekly of the novel appearing on the Metacritic internet site: "Julia Jarmond, an American journalist married to a Frenchman, is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d'Hiv round up, which took place in Paris in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand's family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported... She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants: Wladyslaw and Rywka Starzynski, parents of 10-year-old Sarah and four-year-old Michel. The more Julia discovers - especially about Sarah, the only member of the Starzynski family to survive - the more she uncovers about Bertrand's family, about France and, finally, herself."

This is a French film that stars the acclaimed actress Kristin Scott Thomas as the journalist, a wonderful and versatile Mélusine Mayance as the young Sarah, Niels Arestrup as the farmer who hides Sarah from the Germans, Frédéric Pierrot as Jarmond's husband, and American actor Aiden Quinn in a small but stellar role in the last third of the film.
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I haven't read the book from which this film was adapted, so am purely assessing my reaction to the movie itself. Based around a 'hidden' piece of French history - the infamous events of July 1942 in Paris, the Vel d'Hiv round-up and processing of Jews to the camps, carried out not by the Germans, but the French themselves, the film is interesting in that it abjures easy black and white conclusions. The central character, an American journalist in the present day, married to a Frenchman, and resident in Paris, replies to a young American colleague's condemnation of those war-time Parisians 'And what would you have done at that time?' - recognising that the real horror is how the possibility for evil acts belongs not 'out there' but is latent in each of us. The star of this film,the bank-roller, is Kristin Scott-Thomas, and she is magnificent - but each of the actors, whether English or French speaking, delivers truthful, intense and interesting performances.

Part of the challenge and fascination of the movie lies in the constant shifting time-scale, from 1940's Paris to 60 years later, where Scott-Thomas's character, with moral decisions of her own to face, gets drawn into an investigation from the past, the events of which impinge directly on her life in present day, as her husband's family flat was 'acquired' after the expulsion of the Jews. The sense of rugs being pulled from under feet, the insecurity of the present, and how the past and the present are tied to each other - and yet strange to each other, is intensified by the two-languages of the movie - partly in English, partly in French, so there is always the sense of Scott-Thomas trying to straddle the divides of language and culture, to communicate across time and space.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By BrownPolar on 29 April 2015
Format: Blu-ray
The opening and concluding voiceover of ‘Sarah’s Key’ articulates that, “if a story is never told, it becomes something else: forgotten”, but “when a story is told, it is not forgotten; it becomes something else: the memory of who we were and the hope of who we can become”. That statement eloquently sums up the premise of this harrowing, but unforgettable film. With engrossing, documentary style cinematography, captivating performances, seamless editing and a heartrending score, it is a perfectly crafted movie, but that is not necessarily the point: it is a tale that needs to be told, if we are to evolve beyond the bloodthirsty warmongers whom we have been throughout our shameful history and continue to be, despite all that we can and should learn from our past failures.

I find it increasingly harder to take films like ‘Sarah’s Key’, simply because they ultimately serve as a depressing reflection of equally appalling atrocities that are currently perpetrated right across the globe. As I write this sobering passage, whole communities of innocent people are massacred and bulldozed over for their faith or the lack of it, exactly the same way the Nazis attempted to exterminate the Jews. Toady, boatloads of migrants perish in the sea in their desperate quest to escape prosecution and poverty, just the same way countless victims were dislodged from their lands during the two world wars. When it is becoming impossible to hope for a greener, fairer and just society in the future, despair leads to frustration and even anger or a lack of compassion for humanity as a whole. More worryingly, we are becoming progressively impervious to the violence that surrounds us.

‘Sarah’s Key’ is a commendable and potent attempt to make us learn from the past, but I would be surprised if the simians who continue to denigrate our species have the time to take any notice, for they are too busy killing one another!
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