Introduction to the film
Schindler`s List is a movie adaptation of the novel Schindler`s Ark written by an Australian novelist named Thomas Keneally. It was co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and was released by the Amblin Entertainment via the Universal Pictures. The movie was made available into the big screen in the 15[th] December 1993. The main character, Oskar Schindler was played by Liam Neeson. Other main characters Amon Goeth (an SS-officer who was assigned by the Germ government to oversee the operations of the Plaszow concentration camp), Itzhak Stern (Business partner of Oskar Schindler), Helen Hirsch (Goeths housekeeper), Emilie Schindler (Oskar Schindler`s wife), and Poldek Pefefferbeg (Schindler`s goods provider from the black market), were played by Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingslev, Embeth Davidtz, Carolien Goodall, and Jonathan Sagall, respectively. The film has a running time of 185 minutes.
Schindler`s List revolves around two themes: the realization of the value of human life & the virtue of unbroken courage to preserve it, and the endurance of ideologies. The film was shown in black and white as if to emphasize the timelessness and worth of the virtues contained in these themes. There was also an instance in the film when color red was used, aside from black and white. This color was used to separate a little girl wearing red coat, from the rest of the scene. This was done to emphasize or dramatize the atrocities of the German government during the time depicted in the film, which is 1939 – the peak of the German tyrannic rule.
Oskar Schindler, a greedy self conceited German businessman, turns compassionate towards the Jews as the latter suffer persecution in the hands of his countrymen. Schindler is confronted with the need to decide whether to indulge to the German sense of patriotism or to turn his face away from it and lend a helping hand to people whom he had known personally in the past. He gave hid to the latter choice. Hence, in order to save a great number of Polish Jews, he decided to employ them in his factory. The story of Oskar Schindler is a testament of the innate goodness instilled in the hearts of every man.
Analysis of the elements of the film
The scenes of mass annihilation and atrocities depicted in Schindler`s list have historical bases. It is important to note that the film is a depiction of the situation of the Jews during the 1930s, which is the time of the Second World War (WWII). It is well acknowledge in history that indeed, there was a mass killing of the Jewish population by the German army during the WWII (Davis & Lukas, 2001). These mass killings did not exempt gender or race. Such scene includes the transportation of a young girl in red coat to a concentration camp. Note that this particular incident has its own basis. The basis which was used by Steven Spielberg was his interview with a holocaust survivor named Zelig Burkhut. Note that the entire film was shot in Poland, particularly in Krakow. Note that this country was, in fact went under the German rule during the early parts of the German rule, and was indeed liberated from that rule by the British soldiers by the near end of WWII. Hence, the events in the film are indeed, historically based. It should be pointed out as well that a person by the name of Oskar Schindler and his wife Emilie did exist. The actual existence of a factory called the Deutsche Emailwaren Fabrik, a camp called Plaszow, and a man named Amon Goeth can be verified through numerous historical records (Raven, 1994).Nevertheless, how this people acted as shown in the film had no bases. Everything else in Schindler`s List was assumed based from the various interviews and personal accounts of holocaust survivors, and from its film creators.
Critique and conclusions
The movie as a whole, is indeed, a work of fiction where evil can be spotted and differentiated from the good effortlessly. The film simply used historical events, albeit the most dramatic, in order to divide these two sides. It cannot be treated as an accurate historical account on what has happened in Poland between the Jews and Germans during the Second World War. The reason behind this is that there are no historical records that ascertain the flow of events and the reasons behind them as they are presented in the film. For example, while bribery, do happen during wars, it cannot be ascertained that the Jews working for Schindler indeed survived by using this means. While, it is concluded in this essay that Schindler`s List is a work of fiction, it cannot be denied that the lessons that can be derived from it are as applicable and as real as our existence. The success of Schindler`s List does not lie on the accuracy of its historical claims, “based on a true story,” but on its ability to pacify the existent popular view of the laymen about the holocaust during the time of its showing.
Davies, N. and Lukas, R.C. (2001). The forgotten Holocaust: the Poles under German occupation, 1939 – 1944. New York: Hippocrene.
Raven, G. (1994). `Schindler`s List:` A review. The Journal of Historical Review, 4(3): 23 – 31.