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
Award-winning drama telling the true story of pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's experiences in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. When the Jews of the city find themselves forced into a ghetto, Szpilman finds work playing in a café; and when his family is deported in 1942, he stays behind, works for a while as a labourer, and eventually goes into hiding in the ruins of the war-torn city. The film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and Oscars for Best Actor (Adrien Brody), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and Best Director (Roman Polanski).