I'm all for remembering the Holocaust and learning its lessons. However, I'm sick of films about the Holocaust. Really, what else can be said about the thing?
Presumably, the reason Roman Polanski and other filmmakers feel compelled to remind audiences of the time when Nazis systematically tried to eradicate Jews from the face of the Earth is that there are some people who actually question whether the Holocaust ever really happened. Unfortunately, there's nothing one can say, no proof clear enough, to get that kind of idiot to not be an idiot -- and it doesn't matter what the subject is. If that idiot is going to believe the Holocaust never happened, he's also going to run around the town square claiming that Pat Sajak is the Messiah or that alien transmissions from the planet Venus are emanating from his anus. Stupid people believe stupid stuff.
So what's new about the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman (Adrien Brody), a Polish Jew? Nothing really -- he was a world-class pianist, was nearly killed in the Warsaw ghetto, but managed to survive, in part because of the help of a German officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld (Thomas Kretschmann). I suppose it's the part about the help from the German officer that's a bit new. Not new enough if you ask me.
And what's with the term "pianist"? I think piano players should get themselves a more respectful sounding name, like "piano players" or "keyboard ticklers." In certain parts of Utah, you can be jailed for claiming to be a "pianist." It's one of those words that, when people say it, virtually everyone has to ask for a clarification. "Did you say a pianist?" Of course, what we all think we hear is "penisnist" or some variation, which sounds like a breath mint for one's crotch. "Plug a pill in your urethra and your unit will smell grand!" Then images of grown men banging their organs on their pianos come into play until, finally, the clean vision of a piano player melds forth.
So, you see, the Holocaust is the least of the pianists' worries. Every day is a trial for them.
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