The Pianist recounts a true story from the Nazi Holocaust that is both horrifying and inspiring. Set inside the walled confines of the Warsaw Ghetto, the film focuses on the struggle of a famous Polish pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, to survive after the loss of his entire family to the concentration camps. In spite of the chilling indifference of many to the slaughter of the Jews of Warsaw, Szpilman is ultimately saved by a German Army officer named Wilhelm Hosenfeld. A devout Catholic, Hosenfeld is credited with helping to hide and rescue a number of Polish victims of Nazi atrocities.

Hosenfeld himself was eventually captured by Russian troops and died in a Soviet concentration camp after the war. However, at Szpilman’s urging, he was posthumously honored by Israel as one of the “Righteous Gentiles” who, along with Oskar Schindler and others, refused to ignore the humanity of Holocaust victims.

The film stars Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox and Michal Zebrowski.

This original movie review was created by students at academic institutions affiliated with the Human Rights Network (HRN). All HRN content has been created for educational purposes within applicable fair use guidelines in order to spread respect for the universal human rights principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations 1948).

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