The Eternal Nazi: Watching Roman Polanski’s The Pianist in Germany
The Eternal Nazi: Watching Roman Polanski’s The Pianist in Germany By William Grim: There’s an old joke that says inside every German there’s a Nazi yearning to get out. While a gross overstatement, there is, I’m unhappy to report, more than a little truth to that old chestnut. But more about that later.
Last week, I had the opportunity in Munich to attend a screening of Roman Polanski’s new film The Pianist, a film that will not premiere in the United States for another month. This film is based on the true story of the Polish Jewish piano virtuoso Wladyslaw Szpilman, who survived the entire Nazi occupation of Warsaw hiding in the Ghetto and at times being hidden right under the noses of the Nazis in safe houses maintained by the Polish Resistance. Simply put, Polanski’s film is a masterpiece. It is considerably better than Schindler’s List and is undoubtedly the greatest Holocaust movie of all time. The Pianist has already won the Palm d’Or at Cannes. It deserves to win the Oscar. (Cont)