INT. WARSAW (ARCHIVE) - DAY
Black and white. Street scene. People toing and froing. A
man rattles by.
INT. STUDIO, RADIO STATION, WARSAW - DAY
WLADYSLAV SZPILMAN plays Chopin's Nocturne in C sharp minor,
Posthumous. He's twenty-eight years old, elegant and
In the booth, separated from the studio by a glass screen,
an engineer, wearing collar and tie, monitors the broadcast.
Behind him, a window to the street with strips of paper
taped on it as protection against blast.
Without warning, a bomb drops nearby, then another and
another. The whole building shudders alarmingly and the
window in the booth shatters.
The engineer and Szpilman exchange a look as a man enters
the booth and talks urgently to the Engineer, then goes.
The engineer makes a 'cut-throat' gesture, but Szpilman
shakes his head, determined to play on.
He plays, then glances at the booth. The engineer has gone,
but through the shattered window he sees fires raging.
Very near, a loud, terrifying explosion. The reverberations
cause plaster to flake and dust to trickle down over his
And then a bomb explodes even closer. The glass screen
separating booth from studio implodes, showering Szpilman
with glass. He stops, frozen.
INT. STAIRS AND LOBBY, RADIO STATION - DAY
Pandemonium. Chaos. People rushing in all directions, many
carrying files, boxes, papers, shouting, calling. Some of
the men in military uniform. The bombing continuous.
Szpilman fights his way down the stairs. He has a small
cut on his forehead and is dabbing it with his handkerchief.
He has a dazed look. Halfway down the stairs, A young woman,
DOROTA, tugs at his sleeve:
He turns, to see an extremely pretty young woman gazing
adoringly at him while they're jostled and shoved. His
eyes light up.
I came specially to meet you today.
I love your playing, but what a
day to choose.
Who are you?
My name's Dorota, I'm Jurek's
sister. oh! You're bleeding.
JUREK pushes in beside them and takes her arm.
C'mon, Dorota, you can write him a
fan letter later, this isn't the
best time, c'mon.
Jurek, pulling Dorota, fights his way down the stairs.
Jurek, why have you been hiding