Playing for Time

Watch Playing for Time

  • 1980
  • 2 hr 28 min
  • 7.3  (2,876)

Playing for Time is a powerful, gripping drama about the Holocaust, set in the concentration camps of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. The movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Fania Fenelon, who was a Jewish musician and member of the women's orchestra in Auschwitz. The movie tells the story of Fania Fenelon (played by Vanessa Redgrave), a talented pianist and singer who is arrested by the Gestapo in Paris and sent to Auschwitz with her mother and sister. At the camp, Fenelon is chosen to join the women's orchestra, which is made up of prisoners who are forced to play music to entertain the SS officers and fellow inmates.

Under the leadership of their conductor, Alma Rose (played by Jane Alexander), the women's orchestra becomes one of the most revered groups in the camp. But as the war drags on and the inmates' conditions worsen, Fenelon begins to struggle with her role in the orchestra and the reality of what is happening around her.

The movie is a haunting portrait of survival in the face of unimaginable horror. As the women's orchestra plays on, they are constantly confronted with the brutality and inhumanity of the SS guards and the ever-present threat of death. Through it all, Fenelon and her fellow musicians are forced to make impossible choices and live with the consequences of those choices.

Vanessa Redgrave gives a stunning performance as Fenelon, bringing to life the character's strength, vulnerability, and fierce determination to survive. Jane Alexander is equally impressive as Alma Rose, the strong-willed and compassionate conductor who becomes a mentor and friend to Fenelon.

The supporting cast, which includes Maud Adams as one of the other women in the orchestra, is excellent as well, with each actor bringing nuance and depth to their roles. The movie's direction, cinematography, and score are all top-notch, creating a haunting and immersive atmosphere that draws the viewer into the world of the concentration camp.

Playing for Time is a difficult movie to watch, but it is also an essential one. It not only provides a window into the horrors of the Holocaust, but also celebrates the power of music and art to provide solace and hope in the darkest of times. It is a tribute to the courage and resilience of those who endured unimaginable suffering, and a reminder of the importance of bearing witness to the atrocities of the past to ensure that they are never repeated.

Playing for Time
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    2 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (2,876)