"The Pianist"

Essay by MissJiggzCollege, Undergraduate August 2003

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The Pianist

In Roman Polanski's The Pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman's life is depicted as one of courage, strength and survival. During the German occupation of Warsaw, Szpilman escapes from being deported to the when a polish officer pulls him off the line leading to the trains leading to the concentration camps. This meant leaving his family to never see them again, constantly hiding from SS officers, and the biggest struggle of all overcoming starvation.

In efforts to annihilate Jews in Warsaw, jobs were taken away and to fight for food was the only means of survival. The issue of hunger was very obvious throughout the whole movie along with the torture of Jews by the SS soldiers. The SS raided one family's house at dinnertime and they threw a man on a wheelchair over the balcony, the torture went to this extent.

Szpilman's family had money saved up which they had to hide in the house in case of a raid by SS soldiers.

The money went to food specifically. There was a scene where an older woman went to the market to get a large can of food on her way back she was knocked down and robbed by an old man. As he tried to get the can out her hand the can dropped and spilled to the floor, she cried for her food, which was probably the last of her money as the man lay on the floor licking the food from the concrete. The need for food was a desperate fight. There was a wall built to keep the thousands of Jews in one place away from the markets and outside world. People were so desperate as to try and dig their way under the wall just to get a few scraps of food or...