Irena Sendler is a Catholic social worker who has sympathized with the Jews since her childhood, when her physician father died of typhus contracted while treating poor Jewish patients. When she initially proposes saving Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto, her idea is met with skepticism by fellow workers, her parish priest, and even her own mother Janina.
|Release Date||:||April 19, 2009|
|Production Company||:||Jeff Most Productions, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, Baltmedia, K&K Selekt, Most / Rice Productions, Telekompanija Forma Pro|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Director||:||John Kent Harrison, Tracy Young|
|Writers||:||John Kent Harrison, Larry Spagnola|
|Casts||:||Anna Paquin, Marcia Gay Harden, Goran Visnjic, Nathaniel Parker, Steve Speirs, Paul Freeman, Danny Webb, Krzysztof Pieczyński, Leigh Lawson, Maja Ostaszewska, Danuta Stenka, Olga Bołądź, Iddo Goldberg, Scott Handy, Rebecca Windheim|
|Plot Keywords||:||holocaust, world war ii, biography, nazi germany|
I found this movie a worthwhile watch. Over the years I've done a fair bit of reading about the Second World War, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust - but until now I've never heard of Irena Spendler. Her story is worth knowing, and is reasonably portrayed (albeit in a kind of bare bones fashion) by this made for TV movie. Anna Paquin put on a solid performance in the title role. Irena was a Polish social worker in Nazi- occupied Warsaw who worked in the Jewish Ghetto, and became determined to save the Jewish children who were there. In the end, by smuggling them out of the Ghetto and placing them with willing Polish families, 2500 children were saved.
This lacks the sustained intensity of "Schindler's List." For probably three-quarters of the movie, although the conditions of the Ghetto are portrayed as dreadful, the threat from the Germans seems muted and distant, albeit it ever present. Having said that, the intensity of the movie increases dramatically after Irena is arrested by the Gestapo, and the scenes in which she's tortured are quite unnervingly realistic. A nice touch at the movie's end was a few brief words from the real Irena Spendler, who died in 2008.
For those interested in this period of history, this is a worthwhile movie - not the best of the Holocaust-themed movies, but certainly a good one.