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Korczak: Kino Classics Remastered Edition (1990)

Wojtech Pszoniak , Andrzej Wajda  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Korczak: Kino Classics Remastered Edition + Ghetto Diary
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Product Details

  • Actors: Wojtech Pszoniak
  • Directors: Andrzej Wajda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083Q4K4A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,524 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
42 of 42 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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19 of 19 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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14 of 14 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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14 of 14 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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11 of 11 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
4.0 out of 5 stars The movie was very good. I did have visual clarity bc using HD ...
The movie was very good.
I did have visual clarity bc using HD did work well.
I had to change HD to reg.
Published 13 days ago by Patricia L. Medina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing man, amazing story!
Published 1 month ago by Dixie
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Interesting but not stirring
Published 1 month ago by Bruce E. Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars "Greater love has no man but that he gives up his life for his...
I was familiar with the story of this man and his orphanages in an academic way, only. This movie really fleshed out his wonderful sacrificial love for the children for whom he was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alice Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film
Sensitive, nuanced story of the Nazi invasion of Poland and the deportation of the Jews to death camps
Published 3 months ago by Prudence S Posner
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This was a very interesting documentary about Korczak's life.
Published 3 months ago by JaneyM
5.0 out of 5 stars They Came For the Orphans
"In Germany they came first for the Communists,
And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars movie we all should watch
A poignant movie that every person on earth needs to watch. Such a brave man. May we all be 1/2 as brave
Published 4 months ago by liz
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the effort
Very Disappointing. Cinematic value might have been the only saving Grace. You should consider investing your time elsewise. enuf said
Published 4 months ago by Ken
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting with a true story.
This was a true story about a heroic Doctor who ran an orphanage of 200 children, during WW 2. The acting was superb and I felt like I was right there with them.
Published 5 months ago by Danielle Renee Ross
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