Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Irena Sendler Story


The Irena Sendler Story:

Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie


Anna Paquin ... Irena Sendler
Marcia Gay Harden ... Janina Sendler
Goran Visnjic ... Stefan
Nathaniel Parker ... Dr. Majkowski
Iddo Goldberg ... Jacob Rozenfeld
Paul Freeman ... Monsignor Godlewski
Michelle Dockery ... Eva Rozenfeld
Danny Webb ... Trojan
Steve Speirs ... Piotr
Rebecca Night ... Danuta
Leigh Lawson ... Rabbi Rozenfeld
Scott Handy ... Michal Laski
Fiona Glascott ... Maria
Erich Redman ... Untersturmfuher Brandt
Sofya Skya ... Desperate Mother
Rebecca Windheim ... Karolyna Rozenfeld
Maja Ostaszewska ... Jadwiga
Krzysztof Pieczynski ... Dr. Janusz Korczak
Danuta Stenka ... Hannah Rozenfeld

a painting of Irena Sendler,
as she looked around the 1940's -
when this story occurs
by artist Rafal Olbinski
from the official Irena Sendler Web-site


from Hallmark:

Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winner Anna Paquin ("The Piano," "True Blood") stars as Irena Sendler.

The drama is based on the courageous true story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Irena Sendler (Paquin), who is credited with saving the lives of 2,500 Jewish children during World War II.

Academy Award winner and nominee Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock," "Mystic River"), Nathaniel Parker ("The Inspector Lynley Mysteries") and Goran Visnjic ("ER") also star. Harden plays Sendler's mother, Janina, and Parker portrays Dr. Majkowski, the head of Warsaw's Department of Health who helped Sendler obtain important resources for her mission. Visnjic plays Stefan, a former university friend of Sendler who was Jewish and with whom she fell in love when she started her clandestine work in the Warsaw ghetto.

As a Polish Catholic social worker in the early 1940s, Irena Sendler created and led a conspiracy of women who moved in and out of Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto disguised as nurses employed by Warsaw's Health Department. Though they worked under the guise of merely attempting to prevent and contain the spread of Typhus and Spotted Fever, Sendler and her brave cohorts emerged each time with the children of consenting Jewish parents. The children were sometimes sedated and hidden inside boxes, suitcases and coffins as a means of rescuing them from their imminent deportation to death camps. They were given new identities and placed with Polish families and in convents. Sendler kept a hidden record of their birth names and where they were placed with the hope that they would some day be reunited with their own families.

In 1943, the Nazis discovered Sendler's daring and dangerous ruse and arrested her. She was tortured by Gestapo agents and suffered broken feet. On the day of her scheduled execution she was rescued by "Zegota," the underground network with which she worked to save the Jewish children.

As a result of Sendler's efforts, approximately 2,500 children were smuggled to safety. Not a single child she rescued was ever betrayed or discovered by the Nazis.

The movie is based on the authorized biography of the heroine, Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story, by Anna Mieszkowska, published in 2005.

Movie Review:

I have not viewed this, yet... though from the description, I'm certain it is powerful and emotionally stirring.

If you have seen this and would like to leave your thoughts, please click on Comments below.

See or Skip:

the real Irena Sendler
from the official
Irena Sendler Web-site


  1. If you want to learn more information about Irena Sendler, see photographs of Irena, or learn about the Kansas students that discovered her story visit

  2. This movie is incredibly moving and very well done. It is a true story and very difficult to watch at times, but very well worth it. This is a story that will really make you think and appreciate your life. I hope I can be half the woman Irena was!


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