Viewed on 13 May 03   After waiting this long for Academy Award winning THE PIANIST to get to Bangkok's screens, we rabidly poured into our provincial theaters in heightened anticipation.   Alas, the most prevalent comment on the lips of those pouring back out of the theaters was, "Academy Awards ?'    To be perfectly honest, those self-same questioning words were on my lips as well.   And I again parroted the multitudes when I said, " Do we really need another 'Holocaust' movie?    Since Stanley Kramer's Judgment At Nuremburg in 1961, Hollywood has been feeding on the plight of Europe's Jews, all the while waving the "Lest We Forget" banner before our eyes.   We have been the beneficiaries of some grand and significant entertainment, and they have reaped harvest after harvest at the box office.
But when is enough really enough?    We do know, don't we?, that 6 million of Europe's 9 million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis.   This is unquestionably an obscene atrocity, however, it doesn't qualify as 'the Holocaust' by actual, or even relativist definitions.  If one were to apply this term 'Holocaust', even in a relative sense, it would certainly have to refer to the plight of the Russians, who lost between 11 - 14 million people at the hands of the Nazis.  In other words, we have to avoid hyperbole if we are going to maintain perspective.
This begs the question - has Hollywood's continuing re-education program over the last 4 decades given the world the testicular fortitude to intervene in the further 2 million atrocities in Cambodia?    In Kosovo?   Africa?   These are rhetorical questions; we know full well it did not.   Even so, had THE PIANIST added anything at all to this now-tired film genre, it could have perhaps redeemed itself.    However, it did not.   In the final analysis, this reviewer did not hear of even one person recommending this film to others.   In short, while Roman Polanski may be able to claim personal and professional rehabilitation, the film failed, plain-and-simple.
Enduring Line or Phrase:  "I'm...not sure which side of the wall I'm on."
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