Sarah's Key (2010)

Watched 20130920 (Netflix, Instant, HD) (Streaming until 20130921) (English subtitles)
Sarah's Key (2010) Gilles Paquet-Brenner. 111 min [botnotsn (2006) by Tatiana de Rosnay]
also known as Elle s'appelait Sarah (original title)

Sarah hides her brother and locks him in from the outside.

Relevant Links:
Sarah's Key (
Sarah's Key (
Sarah's Key (
Sarah's Key (novel) ( (
Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (

Sarah and her parents (center) wait in the Velodrome d'Hiver.

One thing I definitely liked about the plot is that it brings to light a piece of history I would likely not have heard about. In 1942, Jews in Paris were collected and brought to a stadium called the Velodrome d'Hiver where they were temporarily kept before being moved to a concentration camp. This specific event is known as the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup.

Sarah (left) wakes up from her fever and meets Rachel (right).

In any case, the movie switches between the past and present time.

In the past, a young girl named Sarah Starzynski hides her younger brother in a closet and locks it from the outside before being taken with her mother and father to the Vel d'Hiv. Knowing her brother had promised to remain there until she returned, Sarah is determined to return home and free him.

Julia in her new apartment.

In the present, a journalist named Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas) and her husband Bertrand are moving into an apartment which once belonged to Betrand's grandparents. Julia learns that the apartment was acquired around the time of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup and this prompts Julia to begin a great deal of investigation.

Jules Dufaure

Subsequently, the movie switches back and forth between the two stories, eventually connecting them together and the plot ends on a bittersweet note.

Overall, I found that parts of the movie were intriguing, while other parts of the movie felt a little bland. I was, however, much more interested in the movie's initial mystery than the drama that occurs after the mystery is dispelled.

Geneviève Dufaure comforts Sarah.

With that being said, while not amazing, if you like dramas with tidbits of history in them, then give Sarah's Key a try.


Instant Comments:
Damn. How complicated. On the one hand, locking him up is the right choice at the moment. Then it seems like the wrong choice later. But whether or not it is the ultimate right choice, is yet to tell.

That panning overhead shot is very interesting.
Aww. The walls are all smashed up.
I see, so the place belongs to her husband's grandparents, not to her family. How nice of her to visit her in-law.
Wow, the images in this movie are so striking and powerful.

Wow. That barb wire scene.
Part of the mystery concludes a little over the halfway mark of the movie. The imagery, however, is hidden.
I think the movie slows down drastically at this point.
Niels Arestrup who plays Jules Dufaure in this movie was the grandfather in War Horse (2011).


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