Schindler’s List


"What is there to say? They are my friends. I would do it again, over and over - for I hate cruelty and intolerance."





In 1972, two years before he died, Oscar Schindler told a friend:





Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg is a world-renowned film based on the drama of the World War 2 Holocaust survivors and the man who unexpectedly came to be their savoir. War profiteer Oskar Schindler uses Polish Jews as cheap labour to produce cookware for the German forces. But after witnessing the violent demise of the walled ghetto where the Krakow Jews have been forced to live, Schindler slowly begins to realize the immense evil of the Nazis. The film Schindler’s List won 7 Academy Awards in the year it was released, boasted high rated reviews and had large box-office turnovers. It was even officially endorsed by the President of the USA, at the time - Bill Clinton.


So how come it is so widely rated as such an extradionary film? In Eric Enders review his remarks were:


“It is entertaining to be sure, but it is much more than that. It is gut-wrenching, emotional, and visionary. Sitting in the theatre, I knew this was something special, a film and an experience I will never forget.”


One of the main reasons Schindler’s List is so successful is because the film is based and portrays such a debatable topic: The Holocaust. No other major films have been made relating specifying only to this topic due to it being such a coarse and extremely graphic issue. “It was brutally graphic, but not in a gratuitous way like the popular films of today, it was graphic because it was an accurate portrayal of true event in history. Without the violence and nudity it would have betrayed the truth, sugar-coating it, and providing a dishonest picture of the evil that was the Holocaust.” Steven Spielberg’s reasons for making the film stated in an interview was “I wanted to expose the intricate nature of the Holocaust to the World”. Many film critics have argued since the film was released about the films horrific nature and one of the main questions has been; was the film accurately portrayed? – Is the film overdone in juxtaposition with real events? – Or does the film not accurately show the brutal and inhumane events that really took place? In my analysis I wish to endeavour in to the extent of how much Schindler’s List accurately portrays with reality of events.


People’s comments on Oskar Schindler all say the same thing he was a shrewd businessman, a womaniser, a drinker, a gambler, driven by greed and a lust for high living. These qualities are seen in the first time we see Schindler. “Our first encounter with Schindler is with his back, his hands, his cache of money, and his preparations for some high stakes gamble. We watch the figure of Schindler bribe the headwaiter. And he is already sitting at a ringside table in the art deco cabaret”.


We then see Schindler go into his dressing room, pick up his gold nazi (swastika) pin and proudly put it through the buttonhole of his coat. This shows he has a lot respect for the nazi party, as he is still a member of the Pro-Nazi Henlein party.





Schindler’s List uses very effective and relevant film techniques. One of the 7 Academy Awards the film won was for best screenplay, this award was won due its producing techniques. The most notable and effective technique is the use of colour (or lack of) as the film is ‘entirely’ black and white. “Schindler\'s List is not only well-acted, but technically superior. Janusz Kaminski\'s thoughtful black-and-white cinematography helps evoke the time and places portrayed.” The black and white helps us feel more involved with the time that it’s set in and it is also a key ingredient in the movie\'s aesthetic success. Colour intensifies most of the emotional values in film that are very depressing. Also the use of black and white colour brings out the main reason for the Holocaust The Holocaust was a vast evil engine set whirling by racism and madness. Although the most common form of racism is black and white, people relate this to the cinematography and can see how the