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International herald tribune the son of the polish holocaust survivor who was the subject of roman polanski s oscar winning film the pianist hailed the awards as a tribute to the victims of world war ii. The pianist is a memoir by the polish jewish pianist and composer wadysaw szpilman in which he describes his life in warsaw in occupied poland during world war iiafter being forced with his family to live in the warsaw ghetto szpilman manages to avoid deportation to the treblinka extermination camp and from his hiding places around the city witnesses the warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943 . This gripping holocaust saga is outstanding from start to finish with great writing smart directorial choices and an oscar winning turn by adrien brody as pianist wladislaw szpilman