The pianist

The Pianist ( The Pianist ) is a film of year 2002 directed by Roman Polanski and Adrien Brody asmain actor. It is an adaptation of the memoirs of the Polish musicianof Jewish origin Władysław Szpilman .

In 2002 he received the Palme d’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival . She was the winner with three Oscars : the best director, the best lead actor and the best adapted script, out of a total of 7 nominations; Seven César Prizes of French cinema: to the best film, to the best director, to the best main actor, to the best soundtrack, to the best photography, to the best decoration and to the best sound; Two BAFTA Awards : best film and best director.


Władysław Szpilman ( Adrien Brody ) is a Polish musician of Jewish origin who works in the radio of Warsaw and that sees as its world collapses with the arrival of the Second World War and the Nazi invasion of Poland the 1 of September of 1939, As well as the Soviet invasion 16 days after the Nazi. The USSR was allied with Hitler by the Ribbentrop-Mólotov pact , which ended with the German attack on the USSR on June 22, 1941. After the radio station where it was working was bombed, Szpilman arrives at his house, where He learns that the United Kingdom and France have declared war on Germany . Believing that the war will be over soon, he and his family are happy for the news and celebrate with a big dinner.

Months later, living conditions for Jews in Poland have deteriorated rapidly, and their rights have been reduced: they have limited amount of money per family, they have to wear bracelets with the Star of David (מד דוד, Maguén David) To be identified and, at the end of 1940, are forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto . There they face the hunger, the persecutions and humiliations that the Nazis carry out, in addition to the fear of death and the tortures, which are always present. After a while, the Jews are gathered and deported to the Treblinka extermination camp . At the last minute, Szpilman is saved from that horrible fate by Ithzak Heller, a policeman from the Jewish ghetto, a former friend of the family. Separated from his family and loved ones, Szpilman survives, first in the ghetto as a working slave of German reconstruction units and later hidden outside the ghetto, relying on the help of friends who are not Jewish and who still remember him, among the Who were Janina, a singer; Andrezj, an actor, Janina’s husband and member of the Resistance ; Marek, also a member of the resistance; Dorota, a former admirer, and her husband Michal; And Atek Szalas, former technician of Radio Warsaw and member of the resistance.

While it is kept hidden, it witnesses the many horrors committed by the Nazis, such as beatings, fires and indiscriminate killings. It also testifies to the uprising of the Jews of the Ghetto in 1943. After a desperate resistance, the German army forcibly enters the ghetto and eliminates almost all the remaining rebels.

After a year, life in Warsaw has deteriorated even more. In view of the proximity of the Red Army , the Polish resistance organizes an uprising against the German occupation which is severely repressed. As a result, the city is virtually uninhabited and, on more than one occasion, Szpilman is on the verge of death due to illness and malnutrition.

After a frantic search for something to eat through the ruins of the bombed houses and escaping from the Nazis, Szpilman finds a tin of pickled Ogorki pickles, but nothing to be able to open it. After continuing to search, he finds some tools by the fireplace and tries to open it, but then he notices that a German officer watches him, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld , who instantly realizes that Szpilman is Jewish. Upon learning that he had been a pianist, Hosenfeld takes him to a piano and asks him to play something. At that moment a decrepit Szpilman performs a desperate piece of Chopin (the first ballad Op. 23 in minor sun) before a Hosenfeld who pities him and at the same time shows his admiration after the performance, so that not only do not But instead he hides him in the attic of the building, takes a can opener and begins to take food regularly.

Weeks later, the Germans are forced to withdraw from Warsaw due to the advance of the Red Army. Before leaving the area, Hosenfeld comes to say goodbye to Szpilman and gives him his coat, and promises that he will listen to him on Polish radio. One morning, Szpilman wakes up and sees a truck singing the national anthem of Poland announcing the end of barbarism, he rushes to the street but the coat is almost fatal for Szpilman when the Polish and Soviet troops appear, as they confuse him with A German officer and are shot and chased in a building, where they throw a grenade at him. He only gets them to stop shooting after convincing them that he is Polish and that he only wears the coat because of the cold.

At the same time, in a nearby concentration camp, Captain Hosenfeld and other Germans are captured. While he is being held hostage, Hosenfeld asks a former Jewish prisoner who passed by to contact Szpilman to free him. Szpilman, who has resumed his former life playing on Warsaw radio, comes to the scene too late, since all prisoners of war have been moved to unknown destinations.

In the final scene of the film, Szpilman triumphantly plays a piece by Chopin (Polonica Brillante in Mi Mayor op. 22) in front of a large audience in Warsaw. Before the final credits, it is revealed that Szpilman passed away in the year 2000 and Hosenfeld in 1952 in a field of soviet prisoners of war.

Filming of the film

The shooting of the film began the 9 of February of 2001 , in Babelsberg Studies in Germany , and required the recreation of the Warsaw Ghetto and the surrounding city. Although the war left the city in ruins, most of it was rebuilt, for the film, with the look it was supposed to have during the war. Old Soviet barracks served to recreate the ruined city, because in any way they were going to be demolished.

The first scenes of the film were recorded in the old military barracks , and the shooting team was later moved to a house in Potsdam , Germany, which served as the house where Szpilman meets Hosenfeld. The 2 as March of 2001 , the shooting continued in an abandoned Soviet army in hospital Beelitz , Germany, precisely the same hospital where Hitler remained convalescent, weeks, during the First World War . There the scenes where the Nazis destroyed the hospital with flamethrowers were filmed .

On March 15 filming continued at Babelsberg Studios. The first scene that was filmed in the studio was the one in which Szpilman is witness of the resistance of the Jews of the ghetto, that is suppressed by the Nazis. This was a technically complex scene, and was used to several doubles and explosives.

Filming in the studio ended on March 26 and moved to Warsaw on the 29th. The district of Prague- Północ was chosen for filming because of its abundance of original buildings of the time. The art department built on these buildings, recreating Poland from World War II with symbols and posters of the time. Other additional scenes were filmed in the environs of Warsaw. The scene of the Umschlagplatz , where Szpilman, his family and hundreds of Jews are beaten up in a freight train that will take them to the concentration camp, was filmed at the local Military Academy.

The main shoot ended in July 2001 and followed months of post – production , which took place at the residence of Roman Polanski in Paris , France .


In the middle of the film you can see the Suite for Cello No. 1, BWV 1007 by JS Bach .

When Hosenfeld asks for an interpretation to Szpilman, this one touches Ballad No. 1 Op. 23 of Chopin . In fact, Szpilman plays several parts of the work, since its total duration is almost 10 minutes.

During the credits of the end of the film, Szpilman plays, with orchestral accompaniment, the Great Polish Shining of Chopin.


  1. Nocturno en dos do sostenido minor, Op. Posthumus no. 20 ( Frédéric Chopin )
  2. Nocturnal in my minor, Op. 72 No. 1 (Frédéric Chopin)
  3. Nocturnal in the minor, Op. 48 No. 1 (Frédéric Chopin)
  4. Ballad No. 2 in F major, Op. 38 (Frédéric Chopin)
  5. Ballad No. 1 in the minor sun, Op. 23 (Frédéric Chopin)
  6. Waltz No. 3 in the minor, Op. 34 No. 2 (Frédéric Chopin)
  7. Prelude in my minor, Op. 28 No. 4 (Frédéric Chopin)
  8. Andante spianato en sol mayor (Frédéric Chopin)
  9. Great Polish Shining in E flat major (Frédéric Chopin)
  10. Moving to the Ghetto Oct. 31, 1940 ( Wojciech Kilar )
  11. Mazurka in the minor, Op. 17 No. 4 (Frédéric Chopin)


  • Directed by: Roman Polański
  • Adrien Brody : Władysław Szpilman
  • Thomas Kretschmann : captain Wilm Hosenfeld
  • Frank Finlay : the father of Władysław Szpilman
  • Maureen Lipman : the mother of Władysław Szpilman
  • Emilia Fox : Dorota
  • Daniel Caltagirone . Majorek
  • Ed Stoppard : Henryk Szpilman
  • Julia Rayner Regina Szpilman
  • Jessica Kate Meyer Halina Szpilman
  • Wanja Mues German officer who beats Szpilman’s father.


Awards Óscar

Year Category Person Result
2002 Best film Candidate
2002 Best director Roman Polanski Winner
2002 best Actor Adrien Brody Winner
2002 Best Adapted Screenplay Ronald Harwood Winner
2002 Best Photography Pawel edelman Candidate
2002 Best Costume Design Anna Sheppard Candidate
2002 Best mount Hervé de Luze Nominated

International Cannes Film Festival

Category Result
Palm of Gold Winner

Awards César

Category Person Result
Best film Winner
Best director Roman Polanski Winner
best Actor Adrien Brody Winner
Best Soundtrack Wojciech Kilar Winner
Best Photography Pawel edelman Winner
Best decorated Allan Starski Winner
Best Sound Jean-Marie Blondel
Gérard Hardy
Dean Humphreys

Orły Awards

The film won three awards from the Polish Film Academy :

  • Best film
  • Best director
  • Best music