EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO
EN / DE / FR / PL / ΕΛ / ES / IT / LT / RO

Sarah's Key

    All titles (3)
    Feature Film | 2009 | Drama | France

    Brief synopsis

    It is July, 1942 in Paris, and ten-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance) knows something is wrong. There is a panic spreading through the city. The French gendarmes, supposedly under order from the Vichy government and Nazi occupiers, are going door-to-door arresting Jewish families and imprisoning them in the Vélodrome d'Hiver. Little does Sarah know that, after the imprisonment, they will be sent to Nazi death camps. In a final attempt to save her family, she locks her four-year-old brother, Michel in a bedroom cupboard – their secret hiding place. She promises to return for him, but she and her parents are dragged from their home forever.

    Sixty years later, journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) is assigned to write a cover story on the Vel’d’Hiv roundup of 1942. American by birth, Julia has been living in Paris for more than twenty years, and is married to Bertrand Tézac (Frédéric Pierrot), an unfaithful man from an old French bloodline. What begins as research for her article becomes more personal when Julia discovers that she and Sarah have something in common, prompting her to change her outlook on her husband, her adopted nation and herself. Julia discovers that the apartment owned by Bertrand’s family was acquired when the former Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported sixty years before.

    Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestselling novel of the same name, Elle s'appelait Sarah is a fictionalized account of the actual roundups in Paris that sentenced thousands of Jewish families to their deaths. Harrowing, emotionally complex and filled with pathos, the film is a moving tale of a terrible period of French history. Scott Thomas is pitch-perfect as Julia, as she comes to terms with the terrible secrets that have lain hidden for so many years.


    ActorRole nameVoice actor / SpeakerVoice actor
    Kristin Scott ThomasJulia Jarmond [L]
    Mélusine MayanceSarah Starzynski [L]
    Niels ArestrupJules Dufaure [L]Claus Brockmeyer
    Frédéric PierrotBertrand Tezac [SR]Martin Umbach
    Michel DuchaussoyÉdouard Tezac [SR]
    Matthias KressOfficier allemand [SR]
    Arben BajraktarajM. Starzynski [SR]Matthias Klie
    Sarah BerRachel [SR]
    George BirtRichard Rainsferd [SR]
    Gisèle CasadesusMamé [SR]
    Dominique FrotGenneviève Dufaure [SR]
    Karina HinZoe Tezac [SR]Leslie-Vanessa Lill
    Natasha MashkevichMme Starzynski [SR]
    Charlotte PoutrelSarah jeune femme [SR]
    Aidan QuinnWilliam Rainsferd [SR]
    Naëva LissonnetFillette camp [BP]


    1st ADOlivier Coutard
    Director of photographyPascal Ridao
    Still photographerJulien Bonet
    Casting directorGwendale Schmitz
    Costume designerÉric Perron
    DirectorGilles Paquet-Brenner
    Script supervisorJosiane Morand
    EditorHervé Schneid
    ComposerMax Richter
    ProducerStéphane Marsil
    Production designerFrançoise Dupertuis
    Production managerClément Sentilhes
    Unit manager (local system)Antoine Théron
    Production assistantNadine Picard
    ScreenwriterSerge Joncour
    ScreenwriterTatiana De Rosnay
    ScreenwriterGilles Paquet-Brenner
    Literary sourceTatiana De Rosnay

    Production companies

    France 2 Cinéma [fr]
    Hugo Films [fr]
    Orange Studio [fr]

    Distribution / Sales companies

    Tamasa Distribution [fr]
    International Sales
    International Sales
    UGC - Union Générale Cinématographique [fr]
    France (theatrical)
    France (theatrical)


    Award winnerYearAwardCategory 
    Kristin Scott Thomas2011Cesar [fr]
    Beste Schauspielerin
    Beste SchauspielerinNominated
    Gilles Paquet-Brenner2011Tokyo Internationl Film Festival [jp)
    Audience Award
    Audience AwardWinner
    Gilles Paquet-Brenner2011Tokyo Internationl Film Festival [jp)
    Best Director Award
    Best Director AwardWinner

    Cinema releases and premieres

    Theatre releaseGermanyThursday, 15/12/2011
    Theatre releaseFranceWednesday, 13/10/2010