Schindler’s List Review

After his colossal success with hit movie “Jurassic Park” in 1993, Steven Spielberg continued his sensational year with the release of “Schindler’s List”, a prevailing tribute to the horrific treatment of the Jewish people throughout the Second World War, rightfully saw him win seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.

Through Spielberg’s dramatic filming in black and white, in addition to the adding of colour to a young girl’s coat, the ghastly treatment of millions of innocent people, who were merely used as a scapegoat, allows the revulsion of the holocaust to be laid bare.

Oskar Schindler, played brilliantly by Liam Neeson, is a German businessman who captures the audience’s heart from the moment he appears on screen. The film follows his story as we see him make the transition from a striking, charismatic and promiscuous man, to the self-effacing saviour of over a thousand Jewish people, who wishes he could have saved more.

We are lured into a state of suspense which remains with us throughout the entire film, as we are left watching anxiously as Schindler attempts to save over a thousand Jews from their fate within concentration camps. Through the bribery of Nazi officials and his manipulative friendship with the malevolent camp commandant, Goeth, he moves them out of the camps and gives them jobs in factories, saving the lives of so many.

Spielberg’s clever juxtaposition of Schindler and Goeth, played superbly by Ralph Fiennes, portrays them as being two sides of the same coin. Schindler plays on the fact that they both enjoy the finer things in life, as they are strongly influenced by beautiful women and money. Schindler uses their connection to show Goeth that power is not achieved by injecting the fear of death into people’s lives before taking them, but power is in fact better served by having the ability and freedom to take a person’s life, and resisting. Goeth concedes this idea, but it is clear that he would not adhere to it for long.

Spielberg concludes the film with a formidable image. Set in the present day, Spielberg shows the real Schindler survivors and their decedents visiting his grave. This reinforces to us that this is the true story of one mans gallantry, and that “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

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