One of the darkest moments in French history occurred in 1942 Paris when French officials rounded up over 10,000 Jews and placed them in local camps. Eventually over 8,000 were sent off to German concentration camps. As 10-year old Sarah and her family are being arrested, she hides her younger brother in a closet. After realizing she will not be allowed to go home, Sarah does whatever she can to get back to her brother. In 2009, a journalist named Julia is on assignment to write a story on the deported Jews in 1942. When she moves into her father-in-law's childhood apartment, she realizes it once belonged to the Strazynski family, and their daughter Sarah. Written by
Was the most successful French movie in the Netherlands, due to the popularity of the book on which the film is based, until The Intouchables (2011) took the record. See more »
Towards the end of the film, Kristin Scott-Thomas is talking to a woman of Italian origins. That lady is talking about 'Florence'. Italians always refer Florence as 'Firenze' , even in other languages. See more »
And so I write this for you, My Sarah. With the hope that one day, when you're old enough, this story that lives with me, will live with you as well. When a story is told, it is not forgotten. It becomes something else, a memory of who we were; the hope of what we can become.
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In July, 1942, the French Police breaks in the apartment of the Jewish Starzynski family and arrest them in the Velodrome of Vel' d'Hiv and then in a local concentration camp with other Jewish families. The ten-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance) hides her little brother Michel in a closet in her bedroom to escape from the police officers but she does not succeed on giving the closet key to a neighbor to rescue her brother. When her parents are transferred to a German concentration camp, Sarah flees from the French guards with another girl and they meet the family of Jules Dufaure (Niels Arestrup) that help her to return to Paris to rescue her younger brother.
In 2009, the American journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) and her French husband Bertrand Tezac (Frédéric Pierrot) plan to reform his apartment in Paris to live with their teenage daughter. Julia is assigned to write an article about the notorious deportation of French Jews to German concentration camps in 1942. During her investigation, she learns that the apartment of her husband's family belonged to Sarah's family. She becomes obsessed by Sarah's life and to find the fate of the little girl.
I have just bought the Blu-Ray "Elle s'appelait Sarah", a.k.a. "Sarah's Key", and I found it a perfect movie about a shameful and not divulged period of France's history in World War II. The writer Tatiana De Rosnay has written a magnificent novel and Serge Joncour and Gilles Paquet- Brenner have written an engaging screenplay. The director Gilles Paquet- Brenner made a heartbreaking film that is never corny.
Kristin Scott Thomas is one of the best contemporary European actresses and she has another awesome performance in the role of a flawed, stubborn and selfish character that speaks perfect English and French and becomes obsessed to discover the truth about her husband's family. Her charm and elegance is impressive for a forty-nine-year-old woman. But the girl Mélusine Mayance "steals" the movie in the role of Sarah. The cinematography and music score are beautiful and costumes cover different periods and locations. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "A Chave de Sarah" ("The Sarah's Key")
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