The Pianist

Powerful Essays
The Pianist

Thunder roars all around. Black clouds veil a dying sun. Yet, the storm is not falling from above but raging from below. The thunder is the cracking of gunfire and the clouds, smoke rising from the rubble of what once was. With the roar of a lion, planes, looking like angels in the heavens, drop death upon a city. The buildings that were homes are now corpses, stripped of their flesh and left gaping. With the earth erupting in hatred, Wladyslaw Szpilman sits upright and continues to play Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor. The bombs rain unrelentingly. Everyone runs, except for Szpilman, who is still behind the ivory keys, until a bomb falls upon his office and rips a hole through the walls. Now Szpilman picks up his hat and walks away from his passion. Not disturbed by the blood dripping from his forehead, he calmly smiles as he exits the building.

This moment was the first encounter Wladylsaw Szpilman had with the Second World War. It was just the beginning of a terrible tragedy that unfolded for Szpilman. The movie The Pianist is a depiction of this tragedy. At its very core, the movie is a tale of survival. As the German forces systematically eliminated his home, his possessions, even his family, Wladyslaw Szpilman had a force inside of him that kept him going. The Pianist follows Szpilman's journey, showing his love for the music pulling him through the horror of times. And it was this love that kept him going for the near half decade he spent living hell.

Through a Window

Back to Poland, 1939: a small boy roamed around the Umschlagplatz, an assembly area for the Jews before they were loaded onto cattle cars toward certain death. He was all alone, his mother murdered, his father taken away. The s...

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...wer of music on people as it pulls Szpilman through the ruins.

Works Cited

"A Story of Survival." Prod. Roman Polanski. DVD. Universal Studios, 2003.

"Polanski, Roman." Encyclopedia of World Biography Supplement. Vol. 23 ed. 2003. Biography Resource Center. Gale Group Databases. 3 Nov. 2004 <http : //galenet. galegroup. com/>.

Szpilman, Wladyslaw. The Pianist. New York: Picador, 2000.

The Pianist. Dir. Roman Polanski. Perf. Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Emilia Fox. 2001. DVD. Universal Studios, 2003.

Thomas, Dana. "A Tale of Two Survivors." Newsweek 7 Oct. 2002. ProQuest Research Library. ProQuest Information and Learning. 17 Oct. 2004 <>.

Zaluski, Iwo. "The Warsaw pianist." Contemporary Review Oct. 1999. ProQuest Research Library. ProQuest Information and Learning. 15 Oct. 2004 <http: //proquest.umi. com/>.
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