Humanity Exposed

The Pianist

The movie The Pianist, directed by Roman Polanski, is set during the years 1939 – 1945 in Europe. It is based on the true story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist who plays the piano for a living. Suddenly, the Nazis invade Warsaw, their hometown, and take him and his family to a ghetto in Poland made for Jewish people. After living in horrific conditions for some time, his family is deported and forced into a train to go to an extermination camp. However, Wladyslaw escapes and tries to go back to the ghetto where he is forced into hard labour by the Nazis. At the end of the movie, he is found by a German officer in an appalling state: starving, dirty, and unwell. Warsaw fears that this is the end for him, as he believes that the officer will kill him. Nevertheless, the officer asks him to play the piano, which Warsaw does, and then the officer feels mercy for him and gives him his jacket, which permits Warsaw to survive the cold while he waits for rescue. Although humans can seem morbid on the outside, once we really get to know a person, they can turn out to be someone much less immoral than we originally thought. The movie shows that even the least sympathetic humans are able to find mercy in their hearts, and that they can be compassionate towards their enemy.

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