The Pianist

Poster for The Pianist

Spring 2003 Main series

Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, April 28, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 14A · 2h 28m

With The Pianist, legendary filmmaker Roman Polanksi (Tess), himself a survivor of the Nazi occupation of Warsaw, fulfills a life-long ambition to make a film about the historical atrocites of 1939. Based on Wladyslaw Szpilman’s 1946 memoir “Death of a City”, Polanski focuses on young celebrity pianist Szpilman (Adrien Brody) who, at the beginning of the film, has his Polish state radio concert interrupted by the Luftwaffe’s attack on Warsaw. The Szpilman family, being Jewish, are caught in a deadly trap as the Germans engulf the city and systematically strip them of their rights, enclosing them with a constructed walled ghetto. The Szpilmans inevitably fail to escape deportation to the Treblinka Death camp, except for Wladyshaw who is, at the last moment, pulled from the railway car by a friendly Jewish officer. This begins Wladyshaw’s 3-year odyssey, shifting from one hiding place to another, getting help where he can, while Warsaw tumbles around him. Polanski’s The Pianist, honoured at the Cannes Film Festival with its top prize the Palm D’Or, captures the sweep of history in a breathtaking epic form while witnessing the based-on-fact story of how a tormented musician faced incredible odds and survived the horrific events of wartime Warsaw.

The Pianist is the film Roman Polanski may have been born to make.” – Michael Wilmington, The Chicago Tribune

“A portrait of hell so shattering it’s impossible to shake.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“One of the very few nondocumentary movies about Jewish life and death under the Nazis that can be called definitive.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“A movie of riveting power and sadness.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly