May 2nd, 2008

"The Pianist"

I've brought with me from college six DVD's full of movies in avi format, and am watching them one by one. I saw The Pianist a couple of days ago. It's an excellent film, based on the true story of the Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman, a Jew, who lost his family in the horror of the Holocaust. But he miraculously survived and went on to live till he was 88. He died recently, in the year 2000. He was helped by a German officer called Wilm Hosenfeld.

There are numerous scenes which touch your heart. I was particularly touched by the scene in which the hiding Szpilman is found by Hosenfeld. The officer enquires about his identity, and he says that he is a pianist. The officer takes him to a room with a piano, and asks him to play it. Then Szpilman, who had been hiding in terror, not having eaten for days, plays the Ballade no.1 in G minor, and the officer is touched. From that moment onwards, the officer develops a deep respect for Szpilman, and brings food regularly to his hiding place, till the end of the war.

The movie is based on the book The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939–1945 by Władysław Szpilman. Got to read the book sometime.