Sarah’s Key (♦♦♦♦)

Julia Jarmond-Tézac (Kristin Scott Thomas), an investigative journalist, is given the task of writing a ten-page exposé of the Jews roundup by French police in Paris in July, 1942. So begin two parallel accounts: one of Julia in present day Paris and another of a Jew family in 1942.

On one hand, Julia discovers that her in-laws’ apartment in the Marais used to be owned by the Starzynski family, three of whose members were shipped to concentration camps. When the police arrived at their apartment, Sarah Starzynski, a ten year-old, led her little brother Michél to a closet—making him promise not to come out--and closed it with a key. Taken by the police, along with her parents, she became desperate when realized that there was not going back to her old life. What would happen to Michél?

With the help of a French guard and in the company of another girl, Sarah escapes the camp. On her way to Paris, she meets an old couple who helps her get there, but once in her old apartment, now inhabited by another family, she comes to a fateful discovery.

On the other hand is Julia’s life unraveling since she begins tracking all the key players in Sarah’s story during and after the war.

This movie is like an onion: with each layer a new secret, a key revelation comes to the surface. Deeply satisfying on every level, Sarah’s Key works great as a mystery, a journalistic investigation and as the eye opener that is meant to be. As the movie ends, it is revealed that 76,000 Jews were shipped from France to concentration camps in other European countries.

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