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The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

The story of Irena Sendler, a social worker who was part of the Polish underground during World War II and was arrested by the Nazis for saving the lives of nearly 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto.

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, (as Lawrence John Spagnola) | 1 more credit »
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4,537 ( 372)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Janina Krzyzanowska
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Stefan Zgrzembski
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Dr. Majkowski
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Piotr
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Monsignor Godlewski
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Ewa Rozenfeld
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Hanna Rozenfeld
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Jakub Rozenfeld
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Jadwiga
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Rebecca Windheim ...
Karolina Rozenfeld
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Zofia
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Rabbi Rozenfeld
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Michal Laski
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Storyline

The story of Irena Sendler, a social worker who was part of the Polish underground during World War II and was arrested by the Nazis for saving the lives of nearly 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

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Details

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Release Date:

19 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (#58.3)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's opening prologue states: "World War II rages through Europe. In occupied Poland, the Germans have established the Warsaw Ghetto for all the Jewish residents of the city. Over 440,000 Jews are forced inside its walls . . . There are some Poles who want to help . . . " See more »

Quotes

Irena Sendler [owa]: One child is not enough!
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Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Sort-Of Companion To "Schindler's List"
17 December 2010 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

I found this movie a worthwhile watch. Over the years I've done a fair bit of reading about the Second World War, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust - but until now I've never heard of Irena Spendler. Her story is worth knowing, and is reasonably portrayed (albeit in a kind of bare bones fashion) by this made for TV movie. Anna Paquin put on a solid performance in the title role. Irena was a Polish social worker in Nazi- occupied Warsaw who worked in the Jewish Ghetto, and became determined to save the Jewish children who were there. In the end, by smuggling them out of the Ghetto and placing them with willing Polish families, 2500 children were saved.

This lacks the sustained intensity of "Schindler's List." For probably three-quarters of the movie, although the conditions of the Ghetto are portrayed as dreadful, the threat from the Germans seems muted and distant, albeit it ever present. Having said that, the intensity of the movie increases dramatically after Irena is arrested by the Gestapo, and the scenes in which she's tortured are quite unnervingly realistic. A nice touch at the movie's end was a few brief words from the real Irena Spendler, who died in 2008.

For those interested in this period of history, this is a worthwhile movie - not the best of the Holocaust-themed movies, but certainly a good one.


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