: Adrien Brody
, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Maureen Lipman, Emilia Fox
: Roman Polanski
The winner of the top prize,
the coveted Palme d'Or (Best Picture) award, at the 2002 Cannes International Film Festival, The Pianist
is the latest film from one of the world's true visionary filmmakers: Roman Polanski. The film is Polanski's most personal statement, the one he has waited four decades to make, a testament to the belief that the triumph of the human spirit is wedded to the transforming power of art.
was adapted by U.K. playwright/screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Dresser
) from the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew who detailed his survival during World War II. A celebrated composer and pianist, he played the last live music heard over Polish radio airwaves before Nazi artillery hit. During the brutal occupation, he eluded deportation and remained in the devastated Warsaw Ghetto. There, he struggled to stay alive even when cast away from those he loved. He would eventually reclaim his artistic gifts, and confront his fears, with aid from the unlikeliest source - a German officer who helped him hide in the final days of the war
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