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The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009)

TV-PG | | Biography, Drama, War | TV Movie 19 April 2009
0:31 | Trailer

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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.


John Kent Harrison


John Kent Harrison, Larry Spagnola (as Lawrence John Spagnola) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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95-year-old Polish heroine Irena Sendler tells the unknown story of a conspiracy of women who outwitted the Nazis and rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during WWII.

Director: Mary Skinner
Stars: Irena Sendlerowa, Jan Becker


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Paquin ... Irena Sendler[owa]
Marcia Gay Harden ... Janina Krzyzanowska
Goran Visnjic ... Stefan Zgrzembski
Nathaniel Parker ... Dr. Majkowski
Steve Speirs ... Piotr
Paul Freeman ... Monsignor Godlewski
Michelle Dockery ... Ewa Rozenfeld
Danuta Stenka ... Hanna Rozenfeld
Iddo Goldberg ... Jakub Rozenfeld
Maja Ostaszewska ... Jadwiga
Krzysztof Pieczynski ... Dr. Janusz Korczak
Rebecca Windheim Rebecca Windheim ... Karolina Rozenfeld
Olga Boladz ... Zofia
Leigh Lawson ... Rabbi Rozenfeld
Scott Handy ... Michal Laski


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


Biography | Drama | War


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





English | Russian | German | Latvian | Polish

Release Date:

19 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Irena Sendler Project See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Karolina Rozenfeld: Why do I have to be a Jew?
Irena Sendler [owa]: You were born into the Jewish faith.
Karolina Rozenfeld: What if I want to be something else? I don't like being hated by everybody.
Irena Sendler [owa]: Everybody does not hate you.
Karolina Rozenfeld: Yes they do. You know it's true. What did we ever do? It's not fair.
Irena Sendler [owa]: No, It's not.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Really moving movie
27 December 2015 | by UmpahpahBgSee all my reviews

I knew very little about Irena Sendler before watching this movie. But after seeing it, I simply feel ashamed that we don't know more about the real heroes of the Second World War Although many already figured out, this is a true story about a young Polish woman's and fellow brave Warsaw citizens, passionately engaged in helping thousands of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the German occupation of Poland. With such a powerful, dreadful story behind, it is really hard to make a movie that won't be touching, but The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is much more than that. It start a bit slower, drawing the terrible conditions of Warsaw Ghetto, while we watch how the monstrous "Final Solution" for extermination of Jewish people taking its full strength. From the second half, movie is gaining on speed and intensity and really nail the watcher to the chair until the very end. The crew is very good, lead by wonderful Anna Paquin, who marvelously portrayed extremely courageous and bit dreamy Polish girl.

As one of the reviewers already said - this is not a typical Hallmarks movie, but certainly the great one. And I really recommend it for watching, if not more to the honor of braves such Irena Senler was.

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