How well do you know "The Pianist?" Take this quiz to find out.
By: Olivia Cantor
About This Quiz
"The Pianist" is an award-winning 2002 bio flick of a real-life artist who miraculously survived the Holocaust. While it’s a heart-wrenching tale of survival, it’s also a good story to tell us how the human spirit triumphs over adversities. Test your knowledge of the movie with this quiz.
The film’s story opens in Poland during 1939. In which city is the film set?
Warsaw, Poland is the primary setting of "The Pianist." It follows the protagonist from 1939 until several years into the war.
As the Polish people listened to news of an impending war reaching their country, some parts of Europe were already in this war.
World War II
Germany was already waging World War II against parts of Europe, and Poland was on the brink of it. Szpilman and his family listened closely to news about this development, as they will be affected because they’re Jews.
Eventually, all Jews were made to transfer under a Nazi-controlled area known as the Warsaw Ghetto, bringing with them only some of their belongings. Which prized possession did the Szpilmans sell during this time?
their gold teeth
Just to have some money to bring with them, Wladyslaw allowed the family to sell their piano.
A friend of the Szpilman family, also a Jew, came to their house and tried to do this.
kill their father
made them play live music again
buy their sister
recruit the brothers for the Jewish police
Recruiting for the Jewish police, a friend of the Szpilman family approached the men in the family and explained how they wouldl be safer if they serve under the Nazis who controlled them. But the Szpilmans didn't want anything to do with it..
Amidst the changing landscape in the cramped and walled Warsaw Ghetto, Szpilman secured another kind of employment related to his field of expertise. What was this job?
repairing radio transistors
playing piano inside a restaurant
Szpilman secured decent wages by playing piano inside a restaurant. While the Warsaw Ghetto faced harsh realities, there were still some people there who held their realities with rose-colored glasses, like the diners.
Szpilman started helping an anti-Nazi resistance when he visited a friend in this kind of place.
A friend told him that “musicians don’t make good conspirators” but Szpilman started helping out the resistance. The newspaper press owner revealed that they hid their resistance newspapers in toilets.
News of getting booted out of the ghetto reached the Szpilmans so they tried to secure their father with this.
Every able-bodied person was required to present an employment certificate, or else they got deported outside of the ghetto. Luckily, the Szpilmans had good friends in the proper places, and got their aging father one.
One day, most of the Jews were hauled to wait for loading on freight trains. As they waited for boarding, Wladyslaw’s brother read a timely excerpt from the book, "The Merchant of Venice." Who wrote that material?
Sir Thomas Malory
Wladyslaw’s brother started quoting William Shakespeare’s "The Merchant of Venice" while reading it to pass time. His chosen quote started with "If you prick us, do we not bleed?” which was also about the persecution of the Jews.
As the Jewish families were lined up and loaded into the freight train carts, what happened to Wladyslaw?
he ran away
he suffered a heart attack
he got pulled out of the line
Wladyslaw, spotted by his family’s former friend in the Jewish police, got pulled out of the line of Jews who were going inside the freight train carts. In history, that event was to be known as Operation Reinhard, the Nazis' secret plot to ship Warsaw Ghetto Jews to extermination camps. His family died there.
Living alone and without his family, Szpilman was one of the 60,000 Jews left in the ghetto. How many were estimated to be there originally?
After Operation Reinhard, which shipped out Szpilman’s family with many Jews out of the ghetto and into extermination camps, only 60,000 Jews were left out of the original 500,000 inhabitants there. He was now left alone to survive.
One of his visitors inside the new hiding place is a former co-worker of sorts. Who was he?
his restaurant boss
technician in the radio station
A man who visited Szpilman once in a while introduced himself as the former technician of the radio station where the pianist played. The technician was apparently part of the resistance, and is in awe of the pianist.
Szpilman’s protectors soon rushed to him, saying that everyone had to vacate the building for fear of impending bombings. Why did the radio technician stop visiting him with food supplies?
he drank himself to death
he died in battle
he scammed people on behalf of Szpilman’s name
Apparently, the former radio technician in awe of Szpilman’s talents used his own talent to scam people and collect money on behalf of Szpilman’s upkeep. The pianist never saw any of that money, and the scammer ran away with his illegal collection.
When the Germans started bombing part of the city where Szpilman was hiding, he made it out of the building in time, and crossed the street to head for this other building. Which building was this?
Szpilman escaped the newly-bombed apartment where he pretended to be dead on the street, to let the Nazis pass. He then proceeded to cross over to the hospital where he tried to hide, until it was also set on fire.
Szpilman ended up loitering alone among the city ruins, where he chanced upon some food in a can inside a nearly destroyed house. In his search for a can opener, he also found one of these roaming around.
a fellow Jewish survivor
a German Nazi officer
A German Nazi officer found Szpilman in hiding, and encountered his piano-playing prowess in the process. He ended up sparing the pianist’s life, even supplying him secretly with food while he lay hidden in an attic.