Hallmark's The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Movie Review (Anna Paquin)
An Unforgettable True Story: The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Hallmark
Irene Sendler worked at great personal risk to herself to save 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland and lived to tell her amazing story. Even though there is a book written about her efforts and now an extremely well-done made-for-television Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, she remains a little known hero.
On this page, learn a bit more about the 2009 Hallmark movie The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, which does a moving and fairly true job of sharing her story as it unfolded during a dark and particularly dreadful period in modern history.
The real Irena Sendler was nominated
for the Nobel Peace Price in 2007.
The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Trailer With Behind The Scenes Footage
There is no typical movie trailer available for The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler but there is this one which shares footage as well as commentary from the making of the movie.
Plot Summary of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Amazon calls Irena Sendler appropriately a remarkable and unlikely hero. I'd agree. During the Second World War, she lead a small group that worked diligently to save 2,500 Jewish children ONE CHILD AT A TIME.
Irena was a social worker, which granted her access to the Warsaw Ghetto and allowed her to formulate a plan and rescue these children. She gathered together a group of friends and coworkers to remove the children from the Ghetto and find them safe homes with Catholic families. She used any method that would work including but not limited to ambulances, suitcases and wheelbarrows.
The story comes to the conclusion that one might expect given the circumstances. In the movie as in real life, Ms. Sendler managed to keep her silence and that is where the movie ends. In real life, she survived the war years and lived a long life, claiming that what she had done during World War II was something she HAD to do and not something over which she had any choice. In 2007, she was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Price. In 2008, Ms. Sendler died.
Fast Facts About The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
CAST: Anna Paquin, Goran Visnjic, Marcia Gay Harden, Michelle Dockery, Danuta Stenka, Rebecca Windheim, Sergei Marchenko, Paul Freeman and Leigh Lawson
WRITERS: Based on Irena Sendler's biography written by Anna Mieszkowska.
SCRIPT: John Kent Harrison and Lawrence John Spagnola
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: April 19, 2009
DVD RELEASE DATE: June, 2009
FILMED IN: Riga, Latvia because Warsaw was too modern in appearance.
AWARDS: Nominated for 6 and winner of 1 Golden Globe
RUNTIME: 95 minutes
RATING: Not rated
Amazon Customer Reviews of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Amazon customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this movie, how could they not be? This biographical true story is well done and moving; it is a story about humanity and about great courage. It is NOT a feel-good movie. It is disturbing but, as Amazon customer Tom said, "Kudos to Hallmark for bringing the heroic story of Sendler and Zegota (the organization to save Jewish people) to the American general public." Amazon customers also felt strongly that Irena Sendler should have received the Nobel Piece Prize.
To see all of the Amazon customer reviews, click right here.
The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Reviews
- The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Review by Variety
Variety.com called this film somewhat 'sanitized' because, of course, it is a Hallmark and a made-for-television production. However, they ALSO said that it is edgy and that it features a strong performance by Anna Paquin. They praised the set in Lat
- The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Review by New York Times
The New York Times review used the headline, "A Female Oskar Schindler of the Warsaw Ghetto." They went on to say that the movie is somewhat predictable. They agreed that Irena Sendler possessed a courageous heart but found the movie a bit weaker tha
- The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler From The Washington Post
The Washington Post starts off by saying that seventy years later we are still being horrified by stories from the Holocaust and, occasionally, inspired. They called The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler 'masterfully done' and said that this invites
Would YOU recommend The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler?
Is The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler Suitable For Children?
This movie, as is the case with many made-for-television movies, is not rated.
A tough call, the story in this film could be okay for OLDER children who are learning about the treatment of the Jewish people during World War II, assuming that they are aware of the atrocities of that time period. Some say it is a reasonably good version of the real historical events. However, this movie does have emotionally intense scenes which will likely be upsetting to children and other sensitive viewers. Of particular note, is a lengthy scene with the Gestapo, which I found VERY DISTURBING. If you are unsure of whether or not you should share this movie with your children, it is a good candidate for previewing without your children present.
Read more on how to pick movies for children by clicking right here.
Could You Give YOUR Children Away If You Had To?
Some of the most heartwrenching scenes in this film are when a parent or parents were giving away their babies and children. To me it is unimaginable that anyone would have to do so for any reason. However, it happened. If you were Jewish and being held in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland during World War II, do you think you would have been able to give YOUR children away?
Can you imagine giving YOUR children away?
Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Irena Sendler Story
The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is based on the 2005 authorized biography, Irena Sendler: Mother of the Children of the Holocaust by Anna Mieszkowska. I cannot personally vouch for this book at this time and unfortunately, it is no longer in print. Collectible copies are available from Amazon and eBay sellers and hopefully, I will find a copy of this hard-to-find book to read both to learn more about the "Mother of the Children of the Holocaust" and to see if it ties up a few loose ends from the movie. If you have read this book, make sure to let us all know what you think in the comment box at the end of the page.
Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto - A children's version of the story written by by Susan Goldman Rubin.
Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto is a children's chapter book, recommended for children aged 9 to 12, that was written by Susan Goldman Rubin and illustrated by Bill Farnsworth. For children interested in the history of the time period, this may be a good choice. Once again I have not had the privilege of reading it and would love to hear from you if you have.
"There are two kinds of people:
good and bad. Nationality, race,
and religion do not play any role;
what is important is which
human you are."
~ Irena Sendler
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In the movie and in real life, Irena Sendler kept meticulous records of who she placed each and every child with. However, at the end of the war when it was time to return the children to their parents, most of the families were gone...
© 2011 Treasures By Brenda