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DVD Review: Sarah’s Key

In this potent Holocaust drama, Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas) is anAmerican investigative journalist working at a contemporary magazine inParis.


Genre:
Drama

Director: Gilles
Paquet-Brenner

Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Melusine Mayance,
Niels Arestrup

***

In this potent Holocaust drama, Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas) is an American investigative journalist working at a contemporary magazine in Paris. She seeks elusive facts regarding the infamous Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup, the 1942 mass arrest of that city’s Jews, many of whom were turned over to occupying Nazis by their collaborationist fellow Frenchmen. As Julia probes the poorly documented events of 1942, she uncovers evidence of a personal connection to them, evidence that changes everything she knows about her world. Once this truth is known, it can never be unknown, no matter how many people — her husband included, insist that it’s ancient history. Meanwhile, director Gilles Paquet-Brenner (working from Tatiana de Rosnay’s international bestseller as source material) introduces us to Sarah, a 10-year-old Jewish girl living with her parents and 4-year-old brother in wartime Paris. When the gendarmes arrive at her home in 1942 to do the Nazis’ bidding, quick-thinking Sarah (Melusine Mayance) hides her brother in a secret locked closet , promising to return for him. She keeps the key close, little suspecting how difficult it will be to use it again.

With these story lines, the film assumes the dynamics of a thriller on two fronts, set nearly 70 years apart.