Sarah’s Key

Dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner | 111 min
Discussion, Narrative France 2010
EnglishFrench with English subtitles

Presented as part of Jewish Identity Through Film: Screenings and Dialogues led by Professor Amitai Etzioni.


Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10-year old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard—their secret hiding place—and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

67 years later Sarah’s story intertwines with Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own future.

Followed by a conversation led by Professor Amitai Etzioni. 

“Sarah’s Key which depicts the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of Jews in Paris in 1942. It provides a sense of the Holocaust through the experience of one family. It allows one to ask: what are the lessons of the Holocaust? Are they universal (the evil of hate and prejudice) or an extraordinary tragedy, that when one universalizes it, one deludes its special meaning for Jews? And when we say Never Again, what does this actually entail?” – Professor Amitai Etzioni


Sunday, October 63:00 PM Pay-What-You-Choose


After receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1958, Dr. Amitai Etzioni served as a Professor of Sociology at Columbia University for 20 years; part of that time as the Chairman of the department. He was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution in 1978 before serving as a Senior Advisor to the White House from 1979-1980. In 1980, Dr. Etzioni was named the first University Professor at The George Washington University, where he is the Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies. From 1987-1989, he served as the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Professor at the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Etzioni served as the president of the American Sociological Association in 1994-95, and in 1989-90 was the founding president of the International Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. In 1990, he founded the Communitarian Network, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to shoring up the moral, social and political foundations of society. He was the editor of The Responsive Community: Rights and Responsibilities, the organization’s quarterly journal, from 1991-2004. In 1991, the press began referring to Dr. Etzioni as the “guru” of the communitarian movement.

Genres and Topics


This event finished on October 7, 2019.