Schindler’s List

Schindler’s List, 1993 film starring  Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley.  The film that showed us in detail the dark side of the Nazi regime and without doubt the best film recounting history and heroes.

The place, German-occupied Poland during World War II.  Oskar Schindler (Neeson) was a businessman who saw an opportunity to make money.  He took it and managed to get his factory filled with Jewish workers from the prison camps.  He becomes an unlikely humanitarian after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi’s.  This film is based on the real life story of Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at Auschwitz.

This film showed the evil in some and the compassion of others.  I sat and watched (I think now for the third time) in horror and can still not imagine what those people went through  I could see their fear, their courage and the sheer horror they went through.  You could see at the outset of the separation of the Jews they thought they were being segregated and had no idea what would become of them.

As I watched it seemed to me Schindler started out as a simple businessman taking advantage of the Jews for his own monetary gain.  You could see his gradual turn to compassionate man who wanted to help as many as he could, especially after seeing what the German Nazis were doing to these people.

There were loads of disturbing scenes but in my opinion, they had to be shown.  It was how it happened, it was real and it was disgraceful.  Scenes like the one where the sick were separated from the healthy and the children taken, the German soldiers laughing while they made prisoners dig out dead people and burn them.  All horrible but it did happen and I am sure the reality would have been even more gruesome.

When it became clear to Schindler the fate of the people worked for him, he acted.  Without concern for his wallet he made the famous list with the help of Itzhak Stern (Kingsley), his Jewish plant manager that became his friend.  At any given time his plan could have collapsed and if the war hadn’t ended when it did all would have been lost.

In all this was a fantastic, historic account of daring, bravery and sheer savagery of a dark time in the world’s history.  I was filled with emotion from the get go, from anger to sadness this film brought it all out.  Near the end when he wept in the arms of Stern because he thought he could have saved more, powerful and emotional.  The very ending was even more dramatic as the film, which was filmed in black and white, turned to color as real survivors and the actors who portrayed them visited Schindler’s grave, talk about powerful.

I know some scenes are horrible but it was a historic account and should be seen by everyone not hidden.  Some like to have things like this hidden or taken away but we need to see our history as a platform for education and growth.  I would personally like to see or read our histories so that we know what it was like and to continue to find ways of not repeating it.

I can not find a single issue with this film and give it the highest honors I can.  It’s worth noting that this film won 89 awards including 7 Oscars.  It’s ratings on most sites maintains an average above 8 of 10 and justly so.  If you haven’t seen it the you must.



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