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"schindler's List" Movie Review

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"Schindler's List"

Steven Spielberg created a feature film about one of the most horrific times in world history. Spielberg blended the abject horror of the Holocaust with humanism. The movie is based on a story told to author Thomas Keneally by Poldek Pfefferberg, a Polish Jew who survived a concentration camp during World War II.

Schindler's List is the story of one man, Oskar Schindler, who was a member of the Nazi party. Schindler was a man who wanted wealth, but he had not run a successful business. That was until he opened an enamelware company making pots and canteens for the Nazi soldiers using Jews who were being persecuted.

This feature film was made for mass audience appeal, made in a Cinema Verite feel. Spielberg shot about forty percent of this film with handheld cameras. In making this movie in black and white the director of photography had to create separation through lighting. The faces so needed to become the brightest object in the scene; so the lighting needs to show this. The sets also either had to be darker or lighter so they would not blend. Costumes had to be very distinctive from the actor's skin tones and sets.

Each time I watch Schindler's List, I find the music haunting, like it is asking me the question; can you explain to me why this happened. One of the songs on the sound track is called Auschwitz-Birkenau which is performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra and Itzhak Perlman. In this piece of music I can see the prisoners walking into the gas chambers and the human ash falling from the sky with my eyes closed. To me music reaches into the souls of the person watching and grabs them to feel more than just the spoken words.

Spielberg used two distinct symbols in Schindler's List. The first is the use of candles at the start of the film with a family observing the Shabbat. Then again at the end of the film candles reenter the picture as Schindler walks up to the Rabbi telling him to get ready to hold services. You could look at the smoke when the candles are extinguished as a symbol of the bodies being burnt.

The second symbol which might be even more subtle is the little girl in the red coat. This is the only use of color within the film until the end. Schindler see's this little girl is seen walking in a red coat during the evacuation of Krakow. Then later in the film, Schindler see's the girl and her red coat in a pile with the dead. Schindler is so affected by this seen; he wants to help more Jews.

I believe Spielberg wanted to stay as close to the story that was told to Thomas Keneally. Schindler's List is not only the story of Oskar Schindler, also of the 1100 Jews that were employed by Schindler. Itzhak Stern was the accountant and business partner. Poldek Pfefferberg was a survivor who was able provides black market goods to Schindler. There was also the interwoven story of Amon Goth, the SS officer assigned to run the Plaszow Concentration camp. Goth was a mean sadistic person, who would murder prisoners for sport. Yet he finds



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