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Schindler's List: An Emotionally Gripping Motion Picture Film (A Review)
Oskar Schindler's Factory, Enameled Vessels ‘Emalia’ - Krakow
The Movie, by Steven Spielberg, available in DVD
Save One Person
Most of us can not conceive of saving even one person from likely death. How about saving 1,100 people while living in society in which casual death is a routine habit?
"Schindler's List," released twenty years ago in February 1994, ultimately deals with this reality that is based on a true story. This film gained two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for Steven Spielberg, nominated for 10 other Academy Awards and won five more, and won accolades as an outstanding American Holocaust movie.
My Personal Interest in this Story
My interest in the Oskar Schindler and this moive began on my first trip to Poland and Kakow. A well-read fellow traveler remarked that he had walked from the old city square to the site of the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp and Oskar Schindler's enamel factory. He also criticized the fact that we weren't making a stop at Auschwitz which is close to Krakow.
I did visit Auschwitz, now a memorial and museum, on my second trip to Poland. I would have stayed there all day wandering around with my camera and thoughts, if not for the fact that we had a schedule to keep. On my third trip to Krakow, my group visited a blown-glass Christmas ornament factory (subject of one of my hubpages ) just across the street from Schindler's old factory. At the time of my visit, I could only look through the gates. Now, portions of Schindler's Factory are a branch of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow. I anticipate visiting Krakow again and definitely hope to visit the Museum to see the progress.
I've also seen the film many times - not at one sitting, but each time broken into twos or threes. I needed time to decompress and process what I was watching. This is a fitting film to watch, probably in bits and pieces as I did, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 27 to April 28, 2013.
Holocaust Remembrance Day 2015
In the United States
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) 2015
begins the evening of
Wednesday, April 15
and ends the evening of
Thursday, April 16
Auschwitz - Birkenau: Railway into the Camp
THE PATH TO NAZI GENOCIDE - A 38-minute video produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Auschwitz - Birkenau
"Schindler's List" in Blu-ray + Regular DVD + Digital HD
Setting the Scene
Over three hours long, "Schindler's List" is not an easy movie to watch. It deals with the Nazi occupation of Poland, and the roundup and imprisionment of Polish Jews in and around Krakow. This beautiful and fascinating European city was spared fundamental Nazi destructions which cities like Warsaw experienced.
Film in Black and White
The film was shot in black and white because Spielberg wanted it to come across to viewers in a documentary form. He resisted urging from studio administrators to do an archieval copy in color. This might be one of the best films that Spielberg has made. If one listens to his interviews, it is the one most emotionally gripping for him to have done.
Who was Oskar Schindler?
Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) is depicted as an entrepreneurial German businessman hoping to profit from the Nazi occupation of Krakow; Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), commandant of the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp, is seen as an alcoholic who shoots prisoners from the balcony of his confiscated manor house. Schindler sets up a factory to make enamel cookware and utensils. Ultimately, as Schindler's unpaid Jewish labor is forced into the labor camp under Gorth's control, Schindler realizes what is happening to his labor force and other Jews. He slowly develops a conscience.
Good versus Evil
The scene is set for a balancing act between the "good" German - Schindler - and the "evil" German - Goeth. Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), a Jewish accountant and financier helps Schindler to run the plant while altering accounting books in order to keep Jews from being sent to concentration camps. Schindler's factory is ultimately refitted for making ammunition. This keeps his work force intact and "working." Schindler begins demanding more Jews for his factory with Stern still cooking the books.
This tale doesn't end in Krakow. As the Allies moved east, Germans moved prisoners to the westward concentration camps and gas chambers. Schindler petitioned Goeth to let him move his factory to Brinnlitz in the Bohemian border lands with Poland. In October, 1944 1,200 Jews travelled out of Krakow to Brinnlitz.
Schindler's machinations took money for bribing and flattering officials. By the time that Germany fell to the Allies and the concentration camps were discovered, Schindler lost his initial monetary stake, plus whatever money he made selling wares from his factory.
Thomas Keneally's book "Schindler's Ark," published in 1982
Author Thomas Keneally tells of meeting with a Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor; his decision to write the story and his search for information about Oskar Schi
"Schindler's Ark," released in America as "Schindler's List," written by Australian Thomas Keneally and published in 1982. It was a 1982 Booker Prize-winner.
Symbolism in "Schindler's List"
For those who enjoy and look for symbolism in films, here are some items to keep an eye out for in this film. It is up to you to figure out what each means!
- The girl in red;
- Water; and
- The black and white film format
Days of Remembrance - 2015
Holocaust Remembrance Week for 2015 is April 12-19. A yearly theme is designated by the Museum for the observance. The U. S. Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of the Holocaust and created the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as a permanent living memorial to the victims.
Krakow Photo Gallery - © Georgene A. BramlageClick thumbnail to view full-size
Trailer for Schindler's List
Look carefully and you'll see that most people are trying to leave the city.
Does it make a difference to you where movies are filmed?
Are you a viewer who likes and wants realistic filming locations.
Girl in the red coat.
Interesting and fascinating. This little girl in the red coat appears several times in the film.
What do you think about movies that deal with such dramatic themes?
Do you like movies with dramatic, and sometimes hard-to-watch, scenes?
Emotional fulfillment near the film's end.
“Whoever saves one life saves the world entire” from the Talmud the book of Jewish law. If even one man shows humanity to another, he demonstrates the continuing existence of humanity in society—something utterly void in the actions of the Nazis during the Holocaust.