Monday, September 27, 2004

Lessons from the Pianist: Leaders Learn

Watched the Pianist - finally - last night. Whew. Not since Schindler's List have Marie and I been left so sombre and quiet after a movie.

Band of Brothers had a similar effect on us, but at least those soldiers had control - they could do something about their situation. All Wladyslaw (the main character in the Pianist, played superbly by Adrien Brody) could do was wait, and depend on the helpfulness of others. He went through a soul-destroying experience, and his soul survived.

Anyway, this post is headed "Lessons", so here are the takeaway lessons we took from the film.

First of all, Marie was touched by the people who did what they could to help Wladyslaw - and anyone else who needed help. They were in a better position than others around them.

Translated to today's situation, where the media has made the world a smaller place, that means our 'neighbours' are in Sudan, or Iraq, or Cambodia. They need help, and we need wisdom to know how best to help.

Summing up Marie's lesson: A leader knows how to manage their resources so they can help the people who need it most. A leader is also aware of the needs of others.

My lesson was to know history, to have a broad knowledge and so not be a sucker. Hitler's Europe was a world devoid of intellectualism, where they burned books and rewrote history. We have amazing opportunities to learn history from many different perspectives, and judge for ourselves. The challenge is - wading through the immense amount of information we need to deal with every day.


At 3:14 pm, Blogger Borscht said...

Listening to the comments of Roman Polanski and that film -- did you know that Adrien Brody actually starved himself for a couple of days to get the necessary effect of being locked in the apartment in Warsaw? I was shocked at the lengths that most modern actors are willing to take themselves in their efforts to achieve perfect method performances.

It's not too hard, sadly, to see in a world like ours, just how difficult it is for some people to respond to global calamity. It's no surprise that most people aren't vaguely aware with the names of the places you mention in your post -- people don't know and don't care. Angelina Jolie does. Read her "Notes from My Travels" (


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