Mama and Papa Movie Review: Sarah’s Key

17 May

Star Rating: 4 stars

(for Star Rating key:

Every once in a while, a movie will come along that you watch and it will stay with you. This is a gem of a movie that haunts you in a way that makes you grateful for everything that you have.  If a movie is successful, it will transport you from your world and have you observe the story on the screen as if you are an additional character in the movie itself.  This movie, Sarah’s Key, does just that – at least for me.  It’s funny, because this is one of those movies where I never saw any commercials, never saw anything about it until I happened to come across it as I was perusing the On Demand portal from my cable service.  I’m so thankful I did.

It stars Kristin Scott-Thomas and some recognizable actors from other movies such as Warhorse.  The preview alone made me curious about the story.  In this day in age, most previews show you the whole movie in the preview (which irritates the shit out of me).  This, however,  was a great preview.  It left the mystery and it gave the idea of the story without giving too much away.  So much so, I had to watch it.

Though this story is fiction, it is based on historical events.  The story revolves around a little girl named Sarah and the round up of Jews on July 16, 1942 in Paris, France.  The French Police were responsible for rounding them up and taking them to a stadium.  However, the French were prompted to follow out these actions by the SS and German Police in occupied France.  The stadium the Jews were taken to had no water, no toilets, no food – nothing.  The conditions were absolutely horrible.  Right as the police knock and enter Sarah’s apartment on this day, Sarah hides her brother, Michel, in a closet and tells him to stay quiet until she returns to get him (thinking she would be back that day- in a few hours- and not understanding what was truly happening).

Simultaneously, Kristin Scott-Thomas plays Julia, a reporter in present day writing an article on the 60th anniversary of the round up.  Her and her family are moving into an apartment.  As the movie unfolds, she discovers the story of Sarah and her brother while writing the article.  Shortly after, she realizes and comes to terms with the fact that the very apartment she is moving into used to be Sarah’s.  Through the course of the movie, we see the evolution of both Sarah and Julia.  We learn about Sarah’s heartache as well as Julia’s.  Julia is determined not to forget Sarah and to tell her story.  What an incredible story it is!

Quote from me:  “My heart aches for all the Sarahs.  She’s not a real person but she is a representation of the heartache these people went through.  Makes me wonder what other untold stories haven’t been discovered.”

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