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Sarah's Key | 2011 | PG-13 | - 4.6.2

Based on the eponymous novel, and taking place in modern-day Paris: the life of a journalist (Kristin Scott Thomas) becomes inexplicably entwined with the story of a young Jewish girl (Melusine Mayance), whose family was taken during the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of 1942. Also with Neils Arestrup, Frederic Pierrot, Aidan Quinn and Michael Duchaussoy. Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. In French, German and Italian with English subtitles. [1:51]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - Two girls are seen floating in a small lake; they are shirtless and their bare chests are visible (one girl is young and the second appears to have the slightly developed breasts of a pre-teen).
 A man and a woman kiss passionately and the man lifts the woman up. A woman asks a man for a kiss and they kiss briefly. A man and a woman dance with their arms around one another and the woman pulls away.
 We briefly see a man hold up a computer generated image of a nude woman with a portion of her bare breast visible and another man remarks, "Sex sells," in reference to the image.
 A teen girl asks her mother if she is having an affair and the woman tells her she is not.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A woman throws herself from an upper balcony of an arena filled with men, women and children: people scream and we hear gasps as several people rush over to the woman, one woman places her hands over the eyes of her young daughter and we see the woman that jumped lying broken on the ground with a trickle of blood coming from her mouth and nose; the dead woman is carried away and the voice of an unseen woman is heard shouting a question (as to whether people will be forced to kill themselves).
 A man shouts at police officers, two officers restrain him, he struggles and continues to shout until one officer smashes him in the head with the butt of a rifle; the man falls to the ground, unconscious, and a bloody smear is seen on his forehead (the man is later seen unharmed, with a bloody cut on his forehead).
 We see a man's hands covered in blood as he grips barbed wire; cuts on his palms are seen and blood trickles down his hands and wrists.
 A woman uses a pin to cut the inside of her cheek, she coughs loudly, and we see blood on her hands and lips; the woman shows her bloody hands to another woman, who calls over a nurse, saying that the woman is coughing up blood (the coughing woman is seen moments later, unharmed).
 A doctor carries the body of a girl, wrapped in a sheet, in front of a man and a woman; the doctor tells them that the girl had died of diphtheria and that he would dispose of the body, and the man remarks to the woman that "one dead girl" is enough for one day. A girl screams after finding the body of a dead boy locked in a closet (we do not see the body).
 Women holding their children of various ages are grabbed by armed guards: we hear the children and women screaming, and a woman cries and reaches for her son as the guards pull the children away from their mothers. An armed guard grabs a girl from a woman's arms and throws the girl on the ground, where she curls into a ball. A woman is dragged away, and two guards are holding her arms and pulling her away from her crying son.
 As a crowd of men, women and children are pulled out of trains and trucks, we see armed guards pushing the people apart, and shouting at the men and women; an armed guard shoves a man to the ground, a woman is pulled away from the arms of a man, armed guards pull a man and a woman apart and one of the armed guards hits the woman with a large tin. Armed guards shove men, women and children, and we see one of the guards shove a woman into the back of a truck and we hear children and women crying. A guard shouts at a woman carrying a child that appears very ill -- her face is shallow and sweaty, and the girl later tells her mother that she does not feel well.
 Two girls attempt to crawl under a barbwire fence, and one holds up the fence as the other tries to wiggle under it until a guard approaches and pulls one of the girls backwards; they talk for a few moments and the guard then lifts the barbed wire and lets the two girls crawl under it. Armed guards shout and grab children and pull them away from a high, barbwire topped fence as women are seen shoving food through the fence. A policeman tells a woman to pack enough belongings to survive for three days, leaning close to her and speaking angrily.
 A man describes to a woman how he had been a boy when a girl had found another boy's body, saying that he and his father had noticed a very strong rotting smell which they thought was a dead cat or bird; as the man describes the scene, we see a man putting his hands over the eyes of a dead boy as the girl cries. A woman tells a man that her father-in-law had been present when a girl had discovered the decaying body of her dead brother.
 Two girls huddle next to one another, and one of the girls is very ill, her face is shallow and eyes are sunken; we later see the sick girl fall from a bed during a seizure and she is covered with sweat and a small amount of blood is seen on her lips.
 A guard steps on the hand of a girl, she whimpers in pain, and the guard lifts his foot. A man shoves people out of the way as he walks quickly, and we see a man stumble to the ground after being shoved. A girl shoves past a boy and runs into a room. A man puts his foot over an apple as a girl reaches for it and he lifts his foot and the girl grabs the apple.
 Two girls race through a forest: one girl stumbles and hits the ground, she is motionless for a few moments, and she then pulls herself up and is seen unharmed.
 We see many people milling around in a street, and being lead into an arena by armed guards; a woman watching from a balcony above the street shouts to the crowd that they "had it coming," and a man shouts at the woman, saying that the guards will be coming for them next. Armed guards walk through the house of a man and a woman; they appear to be looking for a girl and one of the guards informs the man that he is taking a "great risk" by housing a girl. Police officers pound on an apartment door, and we see the woman inside with a girl and a young boy; the police shout at the woman and she lets them inside.
 On multiple occasions a man and a woman discuss abortion: the man expresses that he would like the woman to have an abortion, and the woman ignores his request. We see a woman standing in a hospital room, and a nurse says that the woman has come to the hospital for a "termination." A man asks his wife if she had gotten an abortion; the woman does not answer and we later learn that she did not have an abortion.
 A man shouts at two girls and shoos them away from a house. A woman shouts at her young daughter. A man shouts at his young daughter and they both cry loudly. A man shouts at his daughter and implies that since she had trapped her brother inside a closet she had put him in danger. A woman shouts at a teen girl, saying that she could catch a cold from being in the ocean.
 A girl is visibly upset and another girl tries to comfort her, telling her that her brother, who was hiding in a closet, had probably escaped unharmed. Throughout the movie, we hear a girl telling men, women and her parents that her brother is trapped inside a closet. A girl tells an armed guard that her brother has been left alone in Paris. A woman offhandedly tells a policeman that a family's young son might be stored in a cellar; we hear a child crying in the background and the policeman looks angry. A woman tells a young man and a young woman that many Jewish people had been arrested and placed in an arena and later shipped to concentration camps, where most had died. A man describes to a young man and a young woman that over 10,000 people had been crowded together without adequate food, water or toilets while being held, before being released to concentration camps. A voiceover explains that over 14,000 people had been deported from a country and had never returned, implying that they had been killed during war at a concentration camp. A woman reads a list of names aloud to a young man; she says the name of a man and a woman and reads that they had been executed. A man tells a woman that children had been taken captive as part of a war effort; the woman acts upset and the man reassures her that it is difficult to research the history of war without finding grief. An elderly man tells his adult son that when the man's mother was raising him she had viewed it as a risk to admit that she was Jewish because of her previous experience with concentration camps. An older man tells many people crowded into a truck that they are going to a concentration camp; he then tells a girl that he has a ring with poison in it and that he is the only person that will determine when he dies (implying he will kill himself rather than go to a concentration camp). A woman describes how another woman was in a car accident, and how her car had swerved toward and under a semi truck, killing her -- we see a woman steer her car into an oncoming truck and we hear the truck honk. An older man tells his adult son that he believes his wife, the man's mother, had killed herself, purposefully steering into an oncoming truck. A man tells a woman that his elderly father had died. A woman asks another woman why she is pale and feels faint and we see the woman lean her head into her hands. A girl tells a policeman that her young brother is ill and has been sent to the countryside to recover. A woman tells another woman that her father is sick. An older man tells a woman that his family had nothing to do with the arrest of a family. A girl warns another girl that they must put on multiple sweaters in order to prevent barbed wire from cutting their skin. A woman tells an older woman that she had a "complication" when she was younger, which left her unable to be pregnant. A voiceover explains that a teen girl had worked until her arms were sore and "throbbed with pain." A woman remarks off-handedly to another woman that she could be hit by a bus. An older woman tells a woman that the smell of human waste coming from an arena housing a massive crowd of people was "overwhelming." A woman tells another woman that a man does not want to be "knee deep in dirty diapers."
 A girl with a very high fever experiences hallucinations and we see the cloudy shadows the girl experiences in her mind; we later see the girl recovered, and she stumbles as she attempts to stand, while a second girl tells her that she had been asleep for three days.
 A young boy is upset as a girl instructs him to get into a closet; she closes the door behind him and tells him to calm down as she locks the door.
 We see a museum exhibit with many photographs of people and it is implied the men, women and children in the pictures had been killed in concentration camps. A woman walks past a wall carved with the names of people and it is implied that they had been killed in a concentration camp (small flower memorials are seen resting on the ground of the room).
 A girl vomits: we see the shadowed outline of the vomit leaving her mouth and hitting the ground and hear sounds of retching. A woman appears as though she is about to vomit but she sits down and recovers without throwing up.
 A girl tells her father that she "really has to use the toilet," her father asks an armed guard where the toilets are located, the guard tells the man and his daughter that they are backed up and points to men and women urinating against a wall; we see a woman squatting next to a wall, a stream of urine is seen coming from between her legs and we see the backs of two men as they urinate (no nudity is visible). We see an arena filled with people, on the bleachers we see men and women looking exhausted and ill, and covered in sweat; we see a bucket filled with watered down blood and what can be presumed to be dried streams of urine on the floor.
 A boy and a girl playfully hit one another with a pillow.

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LANGUAGE 2 - 3 mild obscenities, name-calling (scratchy, grumpy, old, pessimist, old fool, stupid woman, good for nothing, liars, basket case), exclamations (heck), 2 religious exclamations.

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SUBSTANCE USE - We see a man drinking wine and wine glasses are seen on a table, a man asks a woman why she is not drinking, throughout the movie we see men and women drinking wine, and a man pours a pregnant woman a small glass of champagne which she drinks. Throughout the movie we see men and women smoking cigarettes.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - World War 2, concentration camps, the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, genocide, anti-Semitism, denial, risking yourself to help others, disappointment, abortion, divorce, suicide.
MESSAGE - It is very important to understand and respect history.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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