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The Pianist (2002)
Stamped with authenticity
There may have been better written films about the holocaust - but this is without the most authentic and touching account I have seen since Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary "Shoah" - as you might expect from director Polanski, himself a child survivor of the Krakov and Warsaw ghettos.
Here he eschews melodrama, and the pornography of violence to present of film which is full of love, life and hope amidst terrible events.
not so flawed...
An earlier comment on the site suggests that the film is flawed because the Amish boy, coming from a secure, peaceful environment, would not be able to witness a scene of brutality without becoming utterly traumatised.
Far from being a flaw, I believe this is a key statement of the theme of the film - that the close, peaceful and loving upbringing he has enjoyed provide the boy with an emotional strength and resilience that allows him to recognise evil and reject it. Later that same environment will provide the embittered and emotionally scarred with a temporary oasis where he can in part recover from the loveless violence of his own life.
Contrast the failure of community in the vast and soulless terminal building, where the first scene is set, where every one is isolated by the indifference and aggression of their fellow travellers, with the co-operative endeavour of the justly famous barn raising scene, where even the outsider is welcomed and included in an act of joint creation.