By Jessica Sock, Contributor
Based on the best-selling novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, “Sarah’s Key” is a heart-wrenching story about the lengths that a young girl went through to protect her family.
In 1942, the French rounded up Jews in an event called the Vel’ d’hiv Roundup. When French police came collecting Jews, Sarah hid her brother by locking him in a closest in an effort to protect him. When the family is taken to the Veldome and ultimately to a holding camp, Sarah takes extraordinary measures to find a way back to her brother.
Her escape ultimately hinges on the crossroads of a young French officer. The connection he develops with young Sarah forces him to choose his moral conscience over his legal duties. Facing insurmountable consequences by helping Sarah, the officer is the first person she comes across that chooses to follow his ethics despite breaking the law.
Sarah’s story intersects with journalist Julia Jarmond’s (Kristin Scott Thomas) life some 67 years later as Julia’s connection with her family is changing. Her research for an article on the Vel’ d’hiv finds a closer link to the events from 1942 than she expected.
The experiences that many Jews went through were appalling, but the events portrayed at the Veldome were hard to watch. It’s incredible to consider how inhumane people can be and even more amazing are some of the risks that people were willing to take.
Sarah’s struggle to find her way back to her brother and the ultimate effect it had on the rest of her life was really a reality check.
This movie really brings the connection between history and families to light. Sarah is a remarkable character, with an amazing family, whose life really pulls at your heartstrings. I recommend taking the time to see this movie.