Elle s'appelait Sarah (2010)

Kristin Scott ThomasMélusine MayanceNiels ArestrupFrédéric Pierrot
Gilles Paquet-Brenner


Elle s'appelait Sarah (2010) is a French,English,Italian,German,Yiddish movie. Gilles Paquet-Brenner has directed this movie. Kristin Scott Thomas,Mélusine Mayance,Niels Arestrup,Frédéric Pierrot are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2010. Elle s'appelait Sarah (2010) is considered one of the best Drama,War movie in India and around the world.

One of the darkest moments in French history occurred in 1942 Paris when French officials rounded up over ten thousand Jews and placed them in local camps. Eventually, over eight thousand were sent off to German concentration camps. As ten-year old Sarah (Mélusine Mayance) and her family are being arrested, she hides her younger brother in a closet. After realizing she will not be allowed to go home, Sarah does whatever she can to get back to her brother. In 2009, a journalist named Julia Jarmond (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) is on assignment to write a story on the deported Jews in 1942. When she moves into her father-in-law's childhood apartment, she realizes it once belonged to the Strazynski family, and their daughter Sarah.

Elle s'appelait Sarah (2010) Reviews

  • A new perspective on the holocaust


    Most movies about the Second World War and the Holocaust show the massive killings of Jews by the Germans. This movie shows the French participation in the holocaust and it shows it with intense analysis of how it affected two women: Sarah a young girl who leaves her brother in a closet assuming she can come back to get him and a journalist who is researching the story years later and discovers how her own family was involved in war issues. Sarah's story is well presented, with the most tragic and sad events of her young life and how they affected her later life. Its a well told story that allows the viewer to see the war and its effects on a lovely and courageous young women. The journalist's story shows how even those who want to know about the war find it difficult to put the pieces together. And it also shows how traumatic it is for the people who try to piece it together. The message is that the holocaust affected us all in different ways but those who lived at the time and those who suffered deportation, even if they did not encounter death, were deeply wounded in more ways than is imaginable. I recommend this movie. Its scenes, music and the flow of events are wonderful. You are always with the story. And the analysis of the human suffering and the wounds of the war are very well portrayed. and in more ways that any one of us will ever be able to understand.

  • A holocaust story with a difference


    I must admit that I approached this movie and it's subject matter with a fair amount of trepidation given the holocaust theme once again having sat through other movies such as Sophie's Choice, The boy with the striped pajamas and The Pianist. However I must say that the story here was compelling and the performance of Kristin Scott Thomas was excellent as I have come to expect from her in other movies I have her seen her in. Perhaps as it was the French who were first and foremost the main villains in this piece the story of those black days being diluted to a degree by the switch from the past to the present was in some ways a relief from other holocaust movies. Searching for the truth concerning Sarah kept me interested until the final minutes of the film and I recommend it to those lovers of European cinema.

  • Beautiful


    When the humble home of a poor Jewish family is raided by a vile strand of the French authorities hoping to get in Hitler's good books, their well-meaning daughter Sarah (a heartwrenching Mélusine Mayance) instinctively hides and locks her little brother in the closet to keep him safe from the unspeakable horrors of the Vel d'Hiv detention centre for Jews. It is only after she and the rest of the family seems well beyond escape that she realises the long-term consequences of her decision and is determined to get back to free him, holding onto that precious key relentlessly as she, like thousands of others, tries her hardest to endure the atrocities of the Holocaust. We as the audience follow this earlier part her captivating story – another of those outstanding tales that are of of a personal nature yet have a grand historical context – mostly on our own, with regular cuts to American-born Parisian-resident journalist Julia Jarmond (the masterful Kristin Scott Thomas) who is writing about the events concerned and soon develops a keen interest in Sarah's life. Her segments are much less harrowing, being set in the present day and involving much more trivial complications than those relating to Sarah, and are actually a welcome relief when they come. Julia's irritating struggle to dissuade her husband (Frédéric Pierrot) from having her get an abortion after she has endured two miscarriages is as poignant a subplot as any in a drama, allowing us to become familiar with her character before we discover the final fate of the girl along with her. Her inquiries lead her to many different people who are linked to these affairs, from her own father-in-law (Michel Duchaussoy) to Sarah's only son (Aidan Quinn), a simple western entrepreneur clueless about his own mother's past. The fact that a handful of these scenes are in English brings another refreshing touch of variety to the film, helping to make it the must-see beautiful cinematic triumph that it is.

  • Powerful


    Sarah Starzynski, a child, is among the nearly 10,000 Paris Jews rounded up by the French police and turned over to the Nazis for extermination. She hides her younger brother and carries the key to his hiding place. The film goes back and fourth from the wartime period to modern period. The Thomas' story line pales in comparison to the impact of the war time story. The flash forwards while often distracting, and frequently conversations in restaurants, are a needed break from the gut wrenching intensity and horror of the holocaust story. A good but stoic performance by Thomas is dwarfed by the performance of Melusine Mayance as the young Sarah. It is a excellent movie that will not get wide distribution. It's a story that must be told. It took 53 years for the French government to apologize for the atrocity. An outstanding example of the emotional power of cinema.

  • This movie is not about the past


    I saw the movie, and I read a few of the reviews. Even though I know we watched the same movie, I seem to have taken away a different message than many others. To me, the movie I saw was not so much about France in 1942, the "Vel' d'Hiv" Roundup, or how it affected the life of one small girl. To me, the movie was about the nature of man - how little it changes, how much it affects the world, and how events we look on as "horrible," "tragic," and "history" are really just parts of our everyday lives. The movie grabs you right from the start when one family, the Starzynskis, is taken from their home and packed into a small velodrome with 8,000 other French Jews before being transported to concentration camps. Viewers comment, "I didn't know this ever happened," or "How could people treat each other this way" when the truth is that this type of thing is still happening today in various parts of the world right under our noses. Oh, the faces have changed, along with the players, and the circumstances, but the cold, dark soul of humankind still carries on its atrocities behind a veil of self-righteousness, and complacent ignorance. This is what conflict looks like, and this is what it does to people. There are many more casualties than just the just the poor souls duped into putting on uniforms, and laying down their lives in that ironic twist called patriotism. They kill on the premise of preserving life, imprison others on the premise of creating freedom, and tear down the fiber of man on the premise of building up mankind. The worst part is that each and every one of us is just as guilty as any who ever gave an order or pulled a trigger because we allow this insanity to continue. The movie has another side as well. It also shows how, even in times of adversity, men can have compassion. The movie's heroine, Sarah, likely would not be alive today if not for the compassion first of a camp guard, and second by a family who took pity upon her and her fellow escapee. And, then, there's the compassion of Sarah, herself, who, in trying to save her brother, ended up being his executioner, and found it impossible to live out her life in the knowledge of what she had done. It shows how even though mankind can collectively act in heartless fashion, there still remain among us those whose hearts have not turned to stone, and who still feel the power of the bonds of brotherhood. Despite all of the circumstances surrounding that "different" Summer of '42, Sarah does not place the blame on any other but herself, and, after attempts to erase her past fail, she takes her own life. No, no matter what you may feel, this movie is not about the past. This movie only uses the past to illustrate the present. All of us who sit around content with our relative peace while innocent lives are taken in Afghanistan, while mothers abandon their children in Somalia, and while atrocity still affects the world like the festering sore of some deadly infection are just as guilty as if we'd done the deeds ourselves. Like Sarah, we will all find that we cannot hide peace in some closet, lock it away for days, and hope that we can return to find it just as we left it. And, also like Sarah, once we discover what we have done to our world, we will have to try to find a way to live with ourselves in the realization of what we have done.

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