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Korczak: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] (1990)

Wojtech Pszoniak , Andrzej Wajda  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Korczak: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] + Les Vampires: 2-Disc Kino Classics Edition [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Wojtech Pszoniak
  • Directors: Andrzej Wajda
  • Format: Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083Q4K9A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Wojtech Pszoniak stars in Andrzej Wajda's biographical paean to renowned humanitarian Henryk Goldzmit, who wrote under the name Janusz Korczak. The film opens in the late 1930s with pediatrician, writer, teacher, and radio personality Korczak working as the administrator of an orphanage in the slums of Warsaw. When the Nazis invade Poland, move Korczak and his Jewish charges into the ghetto, and begin shipping cattle cars full of adult Jews to Treblinka, the doctor does everything in his power to try to protect the children from the uglier aspects of the ominous quarantine. Friends and well-wishers urge Korczak to leave the children to their fate and save himself, but the dedicated doctor adamantly refuses, demonstrating a dedication to the children that knows no bounds. Pszoniak is superb in this affecting portrait, which is austerely photographed in black and white by the gifted German cinematographer Robby Müller. Remastered in HD for Blu-ray and DVD. Polish with English Subtitles.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great and Loveable Teacher Korczak January 26, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Every movie Andrzej Wajda made is unique and memorable and many of them are masterpieces. This film made in 1990 is one of my favorites. If you've seen Polanski's THE PIANIST this is an excellent film to see if you want to learn more about what life was like in the Warsaw Ghetto.
Before war breaks out Korczak has already achieved much notoriety. His voice is heard by millions on his radio show and he is recognized in the street by both Poles and Germans alike as a progressive minded humanitarian. He is also a doctor who runs an orphanage for Jewish children and in the opening scenes we hear him on his radio program as he tells just how much his childen mean to him. As soon as the political climate within Poland changes however the doctors program is cancelled and before long the doctor along with his 200 children are marched toward the Warsaw Ghetto. At first the doctor believes the war will be a short one and he confronts the Germans and shames them for their mistreatment of the Jewish Poles. But as events unfold the doctors optimism becomes dimmer and dimmer. It does not take long for people to start dying in the ghetto of starvation and sickness and the doctor soon comes to realize that is very unlikely that either he or the children will survive the war. Death is everywhere around them and the doctor sees all that he can do is try and make this constant contact with death less fearful and so writes plays for the children in which death is experienced as a peaceful thing. These are hard scenes to watch and as moving as anything you will see on film but there is also a beauty to them as they show just how profoundly the doctor feels the childrens suffering.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable Movie December 8, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie with a friend in the summer of 1992 at an art theater in St. Louis and went back the next and final night to see it again. It was a gripping, beautiful portrayal of a fantastic story. I have never forgotten this film and was thrilled to find it listed here on Amazon. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mirror image to the Pianist November 6, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Possible spoiler herein...
Better than the Pianist? Tough call, but yes in many ways. Polanski is definitely better cinematically, but Wayda, from Holland's script, renders human relations more finely. Probably its biggest weakness is the choppiness between plot lines. For me, the Poles definitely lead the way on cinematic treatment of the Holocaust.
Szpilman was aloof, and Korczak fully engaged, and their trajectories diverge. Korczak was a world renowned orphanage director and pediatrician, whose radio show was massively popular among all Poles before the War. This meant he was given every chance to escape safely, and walk away from his hundreds of Jewish orphans in the Jewish ghetto; but, instead, his absolute devotion to giving his orphans some semblance of childhood drove him to "deal with the devil himself." On the other hand he knows that the children will have to deal with death at an early age, and he is committed to giving them appropriate comfort and emotional tools. Perhaps the most humane treatment death and childhood in film. It also points to the conflict in impossible situations between those remain dignified and steadfast to humane ideals and those who resist with violence.
The film could be pedantic, but Wojciech Pszoniak (Korczach) is a toned-down, serious version of Robin Williams (close to Oliver Sacks in Awakenings). This gives a much more honest (and probably more loving) approach to helping children to face hardship than "Life is Beautiful."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I love Korczak, I love the person. I have read some of his works, and I wonder how he understood the child so well. he never had a child of his own but he was the 'mother of 200 children'......
the movie will show you the kind of man Korczak was.....
the story is amazing, and true.
I am so glad this movie was made \
a masterpiece!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Controversial Film by a Master April 12, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
When I first saw and fell in love with Wajda's film, Korczak, I didn't know it had once been the center of controversy. Although given a standing ovation at Cannes during the festival in 1990, it was nevertheless branded as anti-Semitic by "Le Monde" the next day. Was Wajda stepping over the line between Jew and non-Jew? Why were Polish Catholics so obviously absent from the film? Why didn't Korczak fight back? Major distributors refused to circulate the film outside Poland.

I won't go over the story of the film, a slice from the real life of Dr. Korczak, a Jew who was staunchly Polish and who, above all else, fought for children's rights whatever religion. I will say that the Christian symbols were profoundly moving, likewise, the doctor's relentless affirmation of life and of spiritual life: the halo which appears momentarily above the head of a boy who finally breaks down crying and tells the doctor of his encounter with his mother's corpse on the street; the daily weighing in of children and other routines which he uses to keep the children focused on their health; the play performed in the ghetto orphanage by the children which portrays death as a natural event that comes with life; the eye contact and body language between Korczak and a rifle-wielding Nazi guard as the doctor dares water a small potted plant in his presence.

Wajda's great talent for working with actors, Holland's brilliant script, the disturbing black and white cinematography by Robby Muller (cameraman for Wim Wenders) cut with documentary footage taken by the Nazi's, and Pszoniak's dignified performance as Dr. Korczak make this film truly magnificent.

The ideas explored in this film are touchy. Can Wajda, a non-Jew, speak for Jewish people killed in the Holocaust?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Korczak
This is a compelling book that has stayed with me
I highly recommend it ... In fact, it's more important that
any I have read recently.
This man was a saint.
Published 1 day ago by Mary H.B. Ulam
4.0 out of 5 stars a tragic stpory of love and devotion to duty and conscience
while this movie is a bit depressing, it reminds us of the depravity of the Nazi machine that treated fellow human beings so cruelly.
Published 1 month ago by Joe Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler was one of the most evil man who walk this earth.
All these movie about the disgusting way that Hitler treated these people's was heart breaking for me but I like watching them I learn alot I didn't know about.
Published 1 month ago by miss sunshine
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
This is an amazing film about the Warsaw Ghetto and proof that in trying times humanity lives. I would recommend this film to people interested in the holocaust. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brenda M. Coronel
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and credible account of Janusz Korczak and his orphans
I used to teach Holocaust history and of the many important figures of this period in history, doctor/educator/children's author/humanitarian Janusz Korczak (his real name was... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Z Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Children in the Holocaust
Excellent film on the fate of children in the Holocaust. It is authentic, engaging, and engrossing. A must-see for students of the Holocaust!
Published 6 months ago by IEM
4.0 out of 5 stars Are there any Happy Polish Films? No.
This is a sad and moving story of one man and 200 orphans in the Warsaw Ghetto. It is not a happy film and do not expect a happy ending.
Published 7 months ago by Craig N. Andrews
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long
An important subject, but the film is way too long, with too much dialogue; it moves very slowly. Not written and produced the way an American film would be.
Published 7 months ago by Kenneth N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Suoerb movie
I read about Korczak 36 years ago. At last I found his movie and it was supeb humility. Andrzej Waida, the movie director's one of a kind of movie
Published 8 months ago by Michiko Uto
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
I loved this movie... How He stood by his children till the very end. God Bless all that had to die in this horrific time!!
Published 9 months ago by Angel's Place
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