When she first saw “Schindler’s List”–to whose premiere in Germany she was invited–Roma Ligocka suddenly realized she was witnessing a part of her own life. She felt instinctively that the little girl in the red coat–the only spot of color in the film–was her. When she had lived in the Krakow ghetto during the Second World War she had worn a strawberry-red coat given to her by her grandmother. Unlike the girl in Spielbeg’s film, however, Roma survived the war. Startled by this eerie conjunction of art and reality, Ligocka determined to write the story of her own life, to find out what had become of the little girl, and to measure who she now was.
From a harrowing childhood under the Nazis, described with a simplicity and innocence that lends it even greater power, through the trials of living in Communist Poland, to a career in the theater and film (an artistic struggle paralleling that of her cousin, Roman Polanski), Ligocka traces her struggle for self-defiition and happiness. “The Girl in the Red Coat” is a courageous and moving story of survival and triumph.