Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestselling novel of the same name, Sarah’s Key is a fictionalized account of the actual roundups in Paris that sentenced thousands of Jewish families to their deaths.
The film is a harrowing and profoundly moving tale about a terrible period of French history. The Comox Valley Art Gallery will present this fine film this Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre as part of their Fall Film Series.
In the summer of 1942, 10-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance) knows something is wrong. There is a panic spreading through the city.
The French gendarmes, supposedly under order from the Vichy government and Nazi occupiers, are going door-to-door arresting Jewish families and imprisoning them in the Vélodrome d’Hiver. Little does Sarah know that, after the imprisonment, they will be sent to Nazi death camps.
In an attempt to save her family, she locks her four-year-old brother Michel in a bedroom cupboard — their secret hiding place. She promises to return for him, but she and her parents are dragged from their home forever.
Sixty years later, journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) is assigned to write a cover story on the Vel’d’Hiv roundup of 1942. American by birth, Julia has been living in Paris for more than 20 years, and is married to Bertrand Tézac (Frédéric Pierrot), an unfaithful man from an old French bloodline.
What begins as research for her article becomes more personal when Julia discovers that she and Sarah have something in common, prompting her to change her outlook on her husband, her adopted nation and herself.
The remaining lineup for the CVAG/Toronto International Film Festival Fall Film Series:
• Life Above All — Sunday, October 23 at 5 p.m. Director: Oliver Schmitz, Cast: Khomotso Manyaka, Keaobaka Makanyane, Year: 2011, Genre: Drama, Country: South Africa/Germany, Language: Sotho (w. subtitles).
• Cave of Forgotten Dreams — Sunday, November 6 at 5 p.m. Director: Werner Herzog, Cast: Werner Herzog, Dominique Baffier, Year: 2011, Genre: Documentary, Country: Canada/USA/France/Germany/UK, Language: English, German (w. subtitles).
Tickets are $11 each, available at the CVAG Gift Shop (580 Duncan Ave., Courtenay), Video’s N More (264 Anderton Road, Comox) and if not sold out will also be available at the door (in the Rialto lobby, cash only, exact change appreciated).
For more information, call 250-338-6211 or visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com for a complete listing of films including film synopsis, reviews and trailers.
— Comox Valley Art Gallery