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Film Analysis - The Pianist - Essay Example

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First and Last Name Professor’s First and Last Name Subject 8 November 2011 Film Analysis – The Pianist In the Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski, Adrien Brody plays the role of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish-Polish musician who survives World War II. The film follows Szpilman’s story of survival through the German occupation of Poland…
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Film Analysis - The Pianist

Download file to see previous pages... However, just before he is about to board, one of the Jewish guards pulls him out of line and inadvertently saves Szpilman’s life. Over the next few years, Szpilman goes from place to place while trying to avoid the German troops. He manages this successfully, although there are a few close calls. In one apartment where he was staying, Szpilman tipped over some plates, creating a loud bang. Immediately a neighbor was banging on the door and asking who was there. Once Szpilman opened the door, the woman asked for identification. We he could produce none, the woman started shouting that he was a Jew and that he needed to be caught. Szpilman managed to run down the stairs and get away as fast as possible. A little while later, a key turning point in the film began. The Polish Uprising began in August of 1944 and resulted in the last remaining Jews being executed. Szpilman is almost killed throughout this battle, but manages to stay alive. Once the Germans are mostly forced to leave the city, Szpilman is one of the few to still be living in the war-ruined city of Warsaw. Barely managing to stay alive, Szpilman attempts to find whatever food he can. As he is trying to open a can of pickles, a German captain, Wilm Hosenfeld, discovers Szpilman all alone. After a few short questions, Captain Hosenfeld asks Szpilman if what he does for a living. Szpilman responds that he was a pianist. To this, Captain Hosenfeld simply said, “A pianist. Come. Play.” Szpilman decides to play “Ballade in G-Minor, Op. 23” by Chopin. At the sound of this, Captain Hosenfeld felt touched enough to spare Szpilman’s life. This scene is one of the most impacting in the movie because it shows that even though two people may be at war, they can still see the goodness in each other. The filmmaker, Roman Polanski, is trying to show the Holocaust through the eyes of one man’s true story. Quite often Holocaust movies focus on the Jewish race as a whole, which is fine, but it maybe not always the best way to represent the Holocaust. In looking at it from one person’s point of view, the audience is able to feel the emotions of the character and how stressful that time would have been. In the piano scene with the German captain, Polanski is trying to show that not all Germans are as evil as many people think. The stereotypical German of that day, and to some extent of the modern day, is one who is always yelling and putting other people down because of their race. This German Captain Hosenfeld gives the audience a side of a German war character that is, for some, not normal. In many Hollywood movies, Germans are always portrayed to be the bad guys. This is because, generally, many Americans of Jewish descent wield great power in high places and can thus get their views across easily. When Captain Hosenfeld asks Szpilman to play something on the piano, he is giving the Jew a chance to display his talents. Many people would have expected Szpilman to be shot instantly simply for the fact that he was Jewish, yet Captain Hosenfeld saw something in Szpilman that perhaps many others could never see. Once he began listening to the piano, Captain Hosenfeld was so captured by what he was hearing that he felt mercy for Szpilman and his situation. It could be that hearing the piano triggered something in Captain Hosenfeld’s memory. Maybe he had a happy memory of the piano as a child. The point is that Polanski is showing how ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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