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I watched this movie the other night on television, and I must say straight off that I was pleasantly surprised, this movie actually turned a very boring night, into a night of interesting entertainment. I was surprised that I had never seen this movie before, with it being so popular and such a big movie, it seems everyone but me has watched Schindler''s List. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Liam Neeson as Schindler, this epic true story is set around world war 2 times, when Nazi Germany tried to murder as many Jewish people as they could. Schindler a Austrian born business man or industrialist if you like, is just the kind of man to use this situation to his advantage, and starts to make a large profit off the cheap labour off the Jewish ''prisoners''. There is a twist to this movie, and it is hard to write anymore about it without giving away the story, so all I will say is there is more to Mr Schindler than first meets the eye. Schindler''s list is a very long movie, in fact it is just under four hours long, and for a movie to hold my attention for this amount of time, is pretty rare, but this did, and I really enjoyed it all the way through. It is a great story, well I say great, more interesting than great, it is interesting to see just how bad humans can become under the right circumstances. This movie is really realistic in it''s showing of the terrible treatment of the Jewish people during these times, women, child and man are herded like cattle, beaten, starved and murdered, and this movie does show this treatment with cold and brutal honesty. Liam Neeson is much younger in this movie than most movies I am used to seeing him in, but he does a great job, pulling off Schindler brilliantly through his performance. So if you are looking for a good movie to watch, something to make the night pass by a little faster, then look no further, Schindler List is a great movie, and well worth watching in my humble opinion.
Although it is one of my favourite films and have owned the DVD for many years it is still in its orginal packaging and unopened. It had been by intention many times to watch the DVD, but as its been on TV on numerous occasions I have never needed to do so.
The DVD was released in 1993 and the film itself has won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 1993 Academy Awards.
Schindler's List is based on the novel Schindler's Ark and is quite a harrowing film to watch. Oskar Schindler was a real-life person living between 1908 and 1974 and is credited with saving the lives of over 1,100 Jews during World War 2.
Schindler who joined the Nazi party before the start of the war enlisted many Jewish workers in an enamel factory at Krakow in Poland that as an entrepreneur he had bought following bankruptcy, and with Jewish labour being very cheap was definitely high upon his list of priorities.
However, as he began to see the reign of terror borne down by SS and Gestapo his priorities changed and he began to do everything he could to protect his workforce from the gas chambers. In fact, as the war progressed and Schindler's factory was converted into an ammunitions factory he changed the specifications of components making everything the factory produced useless, which also left him penniless.
To protect his workers, Schindler paid off high level Gestapo and SS officers and each (including their children) were included on a list that included what contribution they made and what they were worth.
At the end of the war, Schindler was helped by the Jews in his care to escape and they continued to help him up until his death in 1974 although up until then he had been bankrupt on many occasions.
The film ends when children and grandchildren of Schindler's survivors visit his grave with flowers.
This is a very powerful, violent film which is well worth watching.
The DVD is rated 15. It stars Liam Neeson (as Schindler), Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes, and is directed by Steven Spielberg.
Additional features of the DVD:
Voices From The List - A powerful documentary featuring personal eye witness experiences
The Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg - A behind the scenes look at the organisation which has recorded and is archiving the testimonials of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust
Cast and Crew
About Oskar Schindler
If you haven't seen it before then I would certainly recommend it. This is definitely not a film to watch with children. The 1993 version of the DVD is available from Amazon for £7 and there are several variants ranging up to £50 for the 1994 special edition. I would most definitely watch this film again.
There's defiantly no shortage of Holocaust films around, but Schindler's list is probably the most well known, big-budget film on a very sensitive subject, so how does it do? Well it's one of the most absorbing films I've ever watched, the black and white in high-def, the huge amounts of extras, soundtrack and overall atmosphere does almost literally take you into the world this film's set in. However, it does seem to lean a little to pretense and exploitation with some historical inaccuracy (Jews using gravestones to pave roads, Goth's death) and out-dated caricatures of the Nazis, but of course unlike Men Behind The Sun, Schindler's list rarely gains this criticism.
Despite this, watching Schindler's List is still horrific and often seems like a documentary which of course makes the brutal and unnecessary killings look all the more shocking, and often the chaotic scenes (such as the liquidation of the ghetto) are so absorbing I had to remind myself my home wasn't actually being ransacked. The film is over three hours long but there isn't really any unneeded footage, every scene from German officials having a quaint get together to Jews being executed on the street has significance at some level.
The acting is incredible, particularly Neeson's portrayal of Schindler himself. The extras show believable fear and terror when their Nazi counterparts are on screen and the Nazi soldiers in particular are aptly ruthless, although it's only Schindler who is presented as a three dimensional character and even though Raplh Fiennes did an amazing job at playing Amon Goeth the directing of the character seemed a little '70s Naziploxtation flick' who would go well in Ilsa She-wolf of the SS. Despite this, Goeth is still an intimidating and arrogant character who breeds resentment from the viewer throughout, similar to how (I assume) prisoners or lower ranking soldiers would've felt, of course to a higher degree.
In summary this Is still one of the best made Holocaust films of all time, and even though death is a regular occurrence Spielberg manages to stop the viewer becoming desensitized which is an impressive feat. The film doesn't grow boring unless you have a short attention span and the use of black and white was balanced perfectly not to interfere with the aesthetics. Apparently, the director wanted this film to appear timeless and the documentary, almost surrealist feel to the film does accomplish this to a degree. The score fits well and is often haunting, such as a children's choir song being played after the ghetto liquidation which makes the film seem even more surreal, which ironically makes it a little realer given the extreme situation the film depicts.
I recommend this film, especially if you're interested in the subject but don't use it as a definite historical source because unfortunately, although better than most for accuracy, it's still a Hollywood film depicting serious events.
While I've never been a huge fan of Steven Spielberg's usual adventure/fantasy style of storytelling seen within such films as The Mask Of Zorro and E.T., I have to admit that it takes one hell of a talented (and brave) man to make a film like Schindler's List. It's a story of real-life depression and hopelessness set during WWII, and ends up being an incredibly emotionally crippling experience overall. As a result, it's the best thing he's ever done.
Rather than being a film about Hitler, himself, Schindler's List is about Hitler's impact, The Holocaust, and one man, Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German industrialist who helped save the lives of over one-thousand Polish-Jewish refugees by employing them as workers in his factory.
This is a very serious movie depicting the life of one complex, deeply-flawed individual, and the lives of millions of narrow-minded Nazi soldiers who killed innocent civilians simply because they were told to do so by their Führer.
I remember studying Schindler's List in my History class at high school, though not before requiring written consent from my parents for what my teacher described as "an incredibly graphic film." I soon found out what she meant: A scene where a German soldier (Amon Goeth, played by Ralph Fiennes) proceeded to kill Jews just for fun with his sniper rifle from the balcony of his bedroom and then urinate in his own toilet, completely unfazed, stayed in my mind for years afterwards.
Having watched the film again recently in my latter years, it's obvious such horror is all part of Spielberg's intentions here; he chose, also, to film in black and white for further dramatic effect.
Adapted by screenwriter Steven Zaillian from the book Schindler's Ark, by Thomas Keneally, the film depicts the realities of a time when the world was at war. It is by no means easy or pleasant to watch, but it is one that still manages to be greatly compelling and educational at the same time -- even though it is three hours long.
Spielberg paces thing impeccably, moving things at a fast pace, but managing to outline a vast amount of detail from every scene. Touches of colour are added to a lightened candle and little girl's coat just as she runs through the Jewish ghetto, which only captivate the viewer further and allow them an insight into the disgusting conditions of the concentration camps.
This is indeed helped by John Williams' moving, poetic score, and Zaillian's very clever script, which fleshes out the characters, making the whole war seem like one big, bloody human-driven mess. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of extras in this film, but there's a real desire to know the thoughts of each and every one of them -- whether their characters are deemed good or bad.
Schindler's List at times seems very much like a documentary of the suffering that went on during The Holocaust, and this is further helped by the convincing acting from everyone involved. Neeson's character is not particularly likeable for all his arrogance and greed but he is definitely interesting, helped by the actor's discerning awareness of a man's transition from war profiteer to his eventually emotional breakdown in tears screaming "I could've done more!"
Naturally, the Nazi soldiers are portrayed as evil bastards -- most of whom is Fiennes as Goeth, the incredibly intimidating commandant of the Nazi concentration camp. Embeth Davidtz as Helen Hirsch, Goeth's Jewish housemaid, gives an affectionate performance; and Ben Kingsley deserves some serious credit, also, for his understated performance as Itzhak Stern, Schindler's accountant.
Spielberg even manages to add subtle touches of comedy to such a serious subject. There's a moment, for example, when Goeth attempts to execute a Jewish worker outside of the factory, but fails to do so as a result of his weapon jamming on several occasions. Spielberg manages to somehow include such a moment in the film and not make it seem out of place.
Thankfully, the director's usual, sugar-coated, family-friendly manner is undetectable here (if I watched this film for the first time not knowing it was a work of Mr. Spielberg, I would've never guessed that it was him).
Understandably, given the subject, Schindler's List is deliberately uncomfortably-authentic viewing, and it won't make the top ten lists of everybody's favourite movies (personally, I don't think I'd get the urge to watch it again anytime soon). There's no denying, though, it's a tremendous achievement in art cinema; this biopic is the Steven Spielberg's best film to date, and it's unlikely he will ever top it now.
(C) Andy Carrington, 2011.
For me Schindler's list was one of the greatest films released in the 1990's. I watched this film when it first came out and again on DVD recently as this part of history and the Nazi era during World War II has always interested me but at the same time horrified me, so I had to watch this. It is pretty long but well worth it.
The film focuses on the life of Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson. He is a Czechoslovakian millionaire and member of the Nazi Party during World War II. He has always lived his life a selfish man and is portrayed as someone who only thinks of himself and has had many affairs over the years with a variety of women.
Set primarily during World War II, Schindler opens up a factory selling pots and pans to the Germans which they need while the war rages. He lets Itzhak Stern played by Ben Kingsley run the factory for him. Stern is a Jewish accountant. In addition he employs a Jewish workforce to work for him and slave away on minimum wage while he sits about in his office reaping the profit.
The problem he faces is that due to the increasing anti-semitism during the war, Nazi commander Amon Goeth, played by Ralph Fiennes has been instructed to send all Jews to concentration camps to face their death which is a realistic potrayal of the disturbing period in history known as the Holocaust.
As Schindler's business starts to fall apart due to the Jews being sent to camps, he has to find some way of getting his workers back to the factory. Stern himself is in a concentration camp, but Schindler still gets to see him once a week. They manage to form a list containing the names of over 1,000 Jews that will work in his factory and be removed from the camps. He tells Goeth that is only moving them from one concentration camp to another, but in reality he is saving them from almost certain death. He informs Nazi officials that he is running an ammunition factory.
I really enjoyed the movie even though this period of history really terrifies me and I can't imagine what these people went through during the war. It is one of those things that I hate to watch but at the same time interests me and can't look away. For me Liam Neeson is fantastic in his role and I saw the change in his character Schindler as the movie progressed. Although he does remain quite self-centred throughout and how he can benefit from the war, he does do some selfless things too where he is not just thinking of himself. He manages to save the lives of just over 1,000 Jews even if he does it in an imoral way by bribery and lies. In my opinion his lies were for the greater good and he was right to do that when you saw the amount of lives lost in this period of time. The war does change him as it goes on. It is hard to warm to him as a character but also there is a sense that whenever he is on screen then no-one will die.
The music in this movie is very moving and goes well with the scenes. It evoked feelings and is very powerful. There are rare moments of colour in this movie and the fact that most is in black and white shows the dark, depressing time that it was for millions.
In addition to Schindler's character himself, the other characters and actors who play them do a great job too. Amon Goeth for example see develop as the film goes on too. He is like Schindler in that he has multiple affairs and is also very self-centred. However, he is also a hugely sadistic and nasty man and enjoys killing Jews mindlessly for no other reason than his own enjoyment. He is a greedy man and is always looking at how things benefit him. Stern who works for Schindler comes across as a nice, soft-spoken man and is willing to help anyone and doesn't think of himself. He influences Schindler alot as the story progresses.
For me this film deservedly won Best Picture and a number of other awards and although quite long is definately worth watching and learning a bit of history too. It is one of the most harrowing films I've ever seen but has to be seen nonetheless. There is also a glimmer of hope in amongst the atrocities as demonstrated by Schindler's determination to save the Jews on his list.
Watching Shindlers list had a profound affect on me and is in my top 10 of all time greats. Based on the WW2 occupation of Poland, and the atrocities of the holocaust, the film centres around the businessman Oscar Schindler and how he saved the lives of may Jews.
The film is in black & white with a splash of colour in 2 sections of the film which drums home the fragility of human life and the sadistic nature of some people. In comparison it shows how one person alone can alter the course of life for many people.
It graphically shows the horrors of the Holocaust and is the most moving, heart wrenching film i have ever watched. Liam Neeson's portrayal of Oscar Schindler was superb, as we watch him change from greedy business man to saviour of hundreds of people. Knowing this film was based on a true story made it hit home even more.
Ralph Fiennes, who plays the evil commandant, is truly menacing and emotionless and was cast superbly. He looks at people as mere playthings that can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. Compassionless and self indulgent, only money can change his method of thought.
This film deserves all the oscars it won. Every human being should know the horrors of the Holocaust and how so few people can make this world a better place to live in. Superb.
One film guaranteed to move myself and others to tears is Schindler's List, an incredible drama about the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as the redemptive power of the human spirit, directed by Steven Spielberg, which happens to be one of his very best films. The story revolves around a businessman named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saves over a thousand refugees from excecution by employing them in his factory.
Steven Spielberg reportedly directed the film for free, as he felt that being paid would be like taking "blood money". This is his most personal film by far, and one that is virtually faultless - a deeply personal effort by a man, who is himself Jewish, to resolve in his own mind the horrors that took place almost 60 years ago. Oskar Schindler is by far the most compelling aspect of the film - a character who observes the Holocaust going on around him, and is seeing divided between staying alive and keeping his business going, and subsequently saving innocent people. He has a massive moral dilemma, and one which he confronts in a beautiful closing monologue, where he sounds morose and utterly heartbroken at the fact that he simply could not save more.
The film's final sequence is equally heartbreaking, as the remaining survivors who were saved by Schindler visit his grave and place a stone on it each. If this doesn't reduce you to tears or at least move you in some capacity, I fear that nothing will.
Steven Spielberg's heartbreaking masterpiece is a sorrowful and often disturbing, yet heartfelt depiction of the Holocaust. Spielberg's typical hand for dramatic virtuosity is apparent in one of its greatest instances, and he is aided entirely by the cast's earnest performances.
Instantly gaining critical aclaim immediately after its release, Steven Spielberg's film Schindler's List gives an account of World War Two's holocaust in Poland, through the events in wealthy Nazi supporter Oskar Schindler. A war profiteer, Schindler ended in the war penniless as he launches a plot to save his Jewish factory workers from the chimneys of Auschwitz.
Described by critics Eley and Grossman as, "a humanist parable of self-recongition", Schindlers list portrays one man's quiet rebellion against social laws of the war, turning against his social and economic success for the sake of the moral conscience that he gains. Although criticised for appearing overly-smpathetic to Nazi sympathisers, and the Nazi officers themselves, it efficiently reflects to our wilful ignorance in modern-day life against inhumanity - third world poverty, and political atrocities.
Filmed in black and white, the film linked uniquely to our pre-existing perceptions of the Holocaust through school history books and blurry film reels, creating an incredibly shocking and personal account of one act of opposition against the Nazi powers. A must see film.
***Schindler's List (1993)***
I watched this again the other night when it was on Sky. Even though I have seen it before and I know what is coming, I still find it a very powerful and thought provoking film. I think most certainly for young adults it is essential viewing. One day there will be no one left with first hand accounts of the type of atrocities that occurred and so it is a poignant reminder, so that we don't forget...
This film is an adaptation of the book by Thomas Keneally. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who set up a factory in Poland, staffed with Jews, as a way to make money out of the war. It is his accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), who advises him to do this, as Jews working in factories supporting the war effort, are able to live outside of the ghettoes and are less likely to be sent to concentration camps. He is greedy and generally out for himself, until the war begins to take his toll on him and he develops a conscience. The film follows his transformation into a man without a conscience to a man who cares. The film follows how progressively the situation worsens for the Jewish people at that time, in particular focusing upon the Jewish people who work for Oskar Schindler.
I didn't watch this on the big screen; I remember being put off going to see a film in all black and white. When it came to dvd and the word spread, I realised that I had to see it and make my own judgement. I know that there are cynics out there who see it as a money making exercise, but I don't care. If it has even the slightest effect, in terms of raising awareness of the type of atrocities man is capable of, then I must have been a film worth making.
It is worth bearing in mind if you have any niggles or criticisms, just how difficult it would be for Steven Spielberg to tell this story in a manner that would please all. It should also be mentioned that as producer, he sought out many different people for the role of director, before taking on the task himself. He also received and continues to receive no personal remuneration for this film.
It may have used a certain 'Hollywood' style, but the fact remains that soon, it will be up to films and books like this to tell the story of what happened, in the hope that it is never allowed to be repeated.
The choice of black and white was so absolutely right. It wasn't just the use of this type of media that was so effective either. The use of lighting to create intense scenes, so that you almost held your breath was so subtle, yet so so clever. There are scenes when Oskar is one on one with a Nazi officer, negotiating for the lives of his workforce and it is the lighting of the scene which gives it such intensity, not just the black and white format.
Also the one splash of colour used - a little girl who was once so full of life, to be seen lifeless on a cart, was again so effective.
In terms of the acting, I cannot find one single fault. Of course, it didn't win all those awards for nothing. The three main leads were played by Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley. Liam Neeson lost out Tom Hanks for the Oscar that year, but his performance for me was flawless. He didn't portray Oskar as a saint, but captured the transformation from hard nosed business man to a man who cared with great skill.
Of course Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley were just as perfect in their roles. Ralph Fiennes I think portrayed the Nazi officer quite chillingly, with a certain kind of madness attached, as you have to believe people in his position must have had some degree of detachment from reality, to go ahead and commit the crimes that they did.
Ben Kingsley is of course a master and his portrayal of Itzhak Stern, (the man responsible for Oskar's financial affairs) was natural and portrayed in an understated kind of way.
The film completely captured the horrors of what went on; in particular the anguish of not knowing what your fate might be from one day to the next, even one minute to the next.
John Williams wrote the Oscar winning score and a true measure of a great soundtrack is one that you can hum afterwards and remember and this certainly fulfils this criteria for me.
There is also a very touching scene that the film ends with, but of course I won't mention what it is here, but it gives a different kind of ending and one which finishes the film off perfectly.
This of course is not an upbeat film, yet it is in my personal top five films that I have ever watched. I definitely recommend seeing it if you haven't watched it already. I would now like to read the original book to compare it to the film interpretation.
The film won the best picture Oscar in 1994, among others. It received a total of 7 Oscars.
You have to see it, if only to make your own mind up.
The film is certificate 15 and last for 195 mins. I am not sure of any extras, as I watched it on television. It is currently available for £15.58 from Amazon, which gives you some idea as to the quality of this film.
Schindler's List was released in 1993. Film is an adoption of Novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally. Film was directed by greatest director Steven Spielberg and it was written by Steven Zaillian. This is one of the greatest movies of all time. Movie won seven academy awards including Best direction and Best Film. It is a true story of German businessman who gave employment to more than thousand people in his factories during the holocaust.
Liam Neeson portrays Oskar Schindler, a central character of the movie.
Ben Kingsley plays a role of Itzhak Stern.
Caroline Goodall portrays Emile Schindler.
Ralph Fiennes plays a role of Amon Goeth.
Embeth Davidtz portrays Helen Hirsch.
This is a true story and the main character of the story is Oskar Schindler who is businessman. He used to play violin and he wants to start an enamel factory. So he came to Krakow and greases some officers and Jewish man. Jewish businessmen living in Krakow are pulled to live in Ghettos. There condition is terrible and awful. Many of them were boasted and rest of them sent to labor camps. Oskar came here to make money and to change his fortune and he knows that something wrong is happening. He starts buying Jewish people and now he is the owner of Jewish people. He is using them as a cheap labor. Many people are killed during the Second World War but somehow Oskar and his Jews manage to escape and survive. The ending is still left and I don't want to spoil the ending so watch it yourself.
My Views and Perspective
Plot and storyline
What I saw in the movie is that at the time of holocaust German businessman Oskar wanted to do something for mankind. Oskar Schindler is not from heaven so he can't be perfect. Sometimes his acts and reasons seem to be selfish. He moved to Krakow to make his fortune. His right hand is Itzhak Stern and he arranged a meeting with rich Jewish businessman to invest for his company. He buys many Jews with the help of Itzhak Stern. As time passes he starts helping poor Jewish people and he helps as many people as he could. You will actually realize the thought process of Oskar and you will see with the help of his thoughts how he became an extraordinary man. The first part of the film is bit slowly and it takes a while to collect pace. The opening scene in which we see a man who is getting dressed but the face is hidden. This scene gives different start and two origins to the film and in my opinion the second part is more fascinating. We feel a vast range of emotions throughout the film. First we feel sympathy for Jews and we hate Oskar. In gradual manner we start loving and we grow to respect him.
Steven Spielberg is a great director and one of my favorite. He uses his talent and puts himself in making this film. I remember that I was completely involved in this movie and I was struck in some scenes because of dialog deliveries and direction. I will describe many scenes throughout my review because I can't stop myself writing this. The scene in which, Amon depicts his love to Helen and at the same time he also portrays hate for her, is incredible. Another amazing scene is which Amon is present with Lisiek and Amon is asking questions to himself about notion of power towards Lisiek. Except starting and ending scene he chooses to use black and white, and this is very impressing. The first and last scenes are not the part of the plot they are just added to add emotions and feelings. His idea works and his choice of making film in black and white depicts his talent. His direction is worth an academy award. In some scenes the odd thing is shown by color and I like that idea of Spielberg to make a point. His visual imagination is beautiful. The opening scene in which Oskar is getting dressed we can see smoke of cigarette curling up in palpable way. The blood brutal and violent scenes in the film are shown by dark and inky-black. There are plenty of brutal scenes that contain graphic violence.
Characters and Performances
The performances by all actors are almost impeccable and flawless. One point to note is that there are many supporting actors but none of them are weak link. The one disappointing point is that it takes time to understand the characters. There are many characters in the film and to distinguish them throughout the film, when run time of film is unusual large, is lit bit difficult. No doubt that one of the strongest link of the film is three central characters. First one is Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler. In starting his views about Jews is not good. He treats them as a meal ticket. As time passes he shows very nice moments of gentleness and mildness but the counterpoint moment is when he is drinking with Amon. The depth of the character ponders from his physical stature. It's very difficult to handle the variation in the character. Like character of Oskar changes from industrialist to humanitarian, he deals with this change carefully and with great simplicity. As Itzhak Stern, Ben Kingsley is breath taking. He portrays Stern in suspension and with simplicity. His acting shines throughout the film and his screen presence his awesome. Chemistry between him and Nesson is great and it can be seen when Itzhak asks Oskar for drink. Third one who also steals the show is Ralph Fiennes. His character is brutal.
The background score and music is amazing. The music played by pianos and violins is very soft and it will make you feel like a nomadic community. The credit goes to John Williams who provides a pleasant music and won academy award for Best music. His music score exquisitely follows the theme of the film. The camera work is stunning and it is one plus point for the movie. One thing is that they show few bits of some scenes in color. Remember girl in red dress, running aside from army to hide and then she burned up.
I have not read the book by Thomas Keneally so I can't tell you what's similarity and dissimilarity in the movie and book. I have no idea about this novel before watching this movie. Even I did not know anything about Oskar Schindler beforehand but after watching this great movie I can't forget him for my lifetime. The film opens in color but most of the part of this film is black and white so it seems that it is an old classic movie or some documentary. Some people left this movie just because of this reason. I think the choice of black and white is prominent. Another reason could be the run time, which is of around 3 hours. People who can't sit for 3 hours will find this movie little bit dull. For people who don't like to watch history and biography, film could be burden for you. In my opinion this movie is great and I bet this will amazed you. I can say this film deserves Oscars and it received seven Oscars. This film is highly acclaimed by audience and movie critics. Overall this film is well crafted, technically strong and masterpiece. So I recommend this movie to everyone.
Additional Info about DVD
I own the DVD of this film. There are many extra features in the DVD so I would like to talk about some features. First one is the documentary "voices from the list". The documentary is very concerning and pertaining. Documentary shows that most of the consequences presented in the film did happen in reality. The other documentary is about Shoah foundation. It is very short and it was created by Spielberg himself. You can watch the views on racial extermination from the perspective of many people. Other sections are about filmographies of cast and crew, and about central character. This gives you some details of the production. That's all I can give you. Thanks for reading.
In my opinion this film is an example of Hollywood catering to the masses by producing a quite awful film about a very important historical subject.
The crime of making a poor film is further amplified by the fact that Oskar Schindler was a real hero and I therefore think that a biographical film about his deeds needs to be of a much higher calibre and to be made with more integrity.
The film was littered with stereotypical caricatures. Rather than making the film poignant with excellent writing and screenplay instead the film attempts to excel by throwing a lot of money at it and in my view it just doesn't work well as a piece of cinema.
It could well be that everything about the way the film was produced was 100% deliberate and that it was the intention from day one of its inception to "please" and educate a mass audience with it rather than to make a truly great film.
Of course it did win 7 Oscars but my view is that some of the 7 were gained mainly due to the subject matter and the box office popularity of the film rather than on pure merit.
If you want to see a fantastic film relating to that period of history then please watch the 1989 film Reunion which starred Jason Robards with the screenplay by Harold Pinter. This was a low budget film but fantastic and memorable.
P.S. I still like Steven Spielberg and wouldn't turn down a role!
This review is also posted on www.ciao.co.uk
under my user name bella6789
We had fish and chips for tea last night. We felt somewhat belittled by the level of culinary quality on the final of Masterchef that we thought takeaway was the best bet. Having stuffed ourselves, I thought I'd watch a nice, short and fun film. So, God only knows why I chose Schindler's List! It's over 3 hours long, stark and disturbing, and brings you completely down to earth, making you thank your lucky stars for what you've got.
In 1994, this was received with rapturous praise for its honesty and bleak dealings with the treatment of Jews by the Nazis in World War 2. The film starts us off with some raising classical music as we see a candle burning in full colour. The film then switches to black and white as we are transported to a bar where Oskar Schindler is wowing the ladies and the German officers. A member of the Nazi Party, he loves life and aims to be fair.
So, when the Nazis begin segregating all the Jews, transporting them all over the place, Schindler sets up a factory in Poland, and manages to employ only Jews. In our day and age, it is hard to imagine such a world, and thus it is a strange system of 'payment' as such. Jews cost less in terms of wages, and all they earn goes straight to the German war effort. Schindler, as a businessman in Poland, sees the cruel treatment and begins to play a very political game with the Nazis. In essence, the Jews get the lesser of two evils, as he tiptoes around to get them 'blue papers' explaining they are essential workforce and are to be employed in his factory, making pots and pans, and later, ammunition.
I found it hard to watch this film in places, but not because it was boring or because I didn't understand. It is because of the appalling and inhuman ways that human beings were being treated. Based on a true story, this is a harsh reality check of what life was like for the Jews during the Second World War, where any one of them could get shot dead immediately for no reason whatsoever, and all there was to protect them in this sense was their employer. They received no payment, and little food, but what they did have guaranteed was their lives, and this was seen as much better than anything else.
Throughout the film, Schindler contains his composure. Liam Neeson is absolutely fabulous as the factory owner who is determined to protect as many Jews as possible. There is so much control and emotion in his performance, and he is incredibly supported by ben Kingsley as his factory manager, a Jew himself, and a dark and disturbing from Ralph Fiennes as the Nazi officer obsessed with punishing Jews for nothing but being Jewish. The three control the screen with extreme intensity, making the more disturbing images that more effective. There is a lot of visual when it comes to the killings, and I lost count of the number of Jews killed with no reason or remorse by German soldiers.
The film is directed by Steven Spielberg, and it is one of his finest hours. The length of the film is over 3 hours, and a lot of this is filled with silences. The curious thing is that, with the filming technique of black and white, and careful selection of what we do and don't see, the silences are often more disturbing than other parts of the film.
There is little hope throughout the film for the Jews, and the increasing pure selflessness as the tale goes on shown by Schindler is amazing, laying his career, life, future, and everything else on the line to save as many innocents as possible. It is a true testament to a character, and we could all learn from someone like this. The film is excellent, and well worthy of its 7 Oscars. I was emotionally drained after watching it, and will no doubt watch it again at some point. Sheer brilliance!
There are some things in life you will always remember and I think this film is one of those things.
I went to see it originally in the opening week of its cinematic release. I had heard about this film and was very interested to see it because I have a huge interest in the holocaust and what led to it happening.
I knew before I went who some of the actors cast were and I also knew that it was a film lasting for three hours.
The film gripped me lice a vice from the opening shot of the candle being lit...to it gradually changing into black and white. I was absorbed with the power of the nazis and the futility of existence for the Jews.
What this film portrays so well is the need in capitalism for exploitation. The nazis, although intent on killing every jew, still believe that they should get the most out of them before they die. they feed them minimal calories and expect them to work round the clock, you hear them talking about this at different stages of the film...it is chilling.
The film also demonstrates just how the Nazis believed entirely in their ideology...the building of the barracks in the work camps is a good example of this 'We are not going to argue with these people' says the commandant...I for one was surprised that he even used the word 'people'.
The film has excellent direction and the horrors are recreated in a true and realistic fashion. When you see backs of heads being blown off, or men lined up in the streets to be shot...it starts to affect you....how could it not.
Oskar Schindler is superbly played by Liam Neeson and he captures the enigmatic nature of the man really well. Was he just out to make a fortune and run or did he really want to save people, in truth we will never know and even though he is highly regarded in Israel, there are still those that say he only did it to save himself.
We see how far he is willing to use corruption in the film though and not a guard or general is immune from his charms, he creates good will and in return can often save lives, when you watch the summers day and the jews crammed into carts on the train track you will know what I mean here.
There are highlights in the film - the factory being 'safe' the rescue of an elderly couple by their daughter for example.
And also, there are horrendous points - The children being taken off by the Nazis, the women arriving at Auschwitz (there was an audible gasp in the cinema at this point), the children remaining who hide in their own excrement to survive, the near murder of the Rabbi, the burning of the bodies to hide the evidence and of course, the girl in the red coat.
The film feel real and it is like we are watching a fly on the wall documentary. At the start when the Nazis are all drinking and partying (and it gets bigger and louder, the celebration) I felt like I was there drinking with them, such is the brilliance of the film.
To call it a film though is to do it a disservice. This is a reflection of the worst in humanity, when our darkest thoughts take over and what can only be described as pure evil follows.
There is however, always hope and the very end of the film will have you crying tears of pure joy.
Schindlers List (1993) is a biographical story of the life of Oscar Schindler. This is a life that effected hundred of thousands of people in Europe and his lagacy still lives on. The end sequence of the film shows people who are alive today because of Oscar.
I saw this film many years ago and then, as I do now, I considered this one of the greatest and most important films ever made. Having last year visited Poland and, in particular, Krakow and Auschwitz this film has taken on a whole new importance for me.
The film was set and filmed in Krakow and is directed by Stephen Spielberg. In my opinion it is far and away the greatest work of Spielberg to date.
The film begins with the relocation of Krakow's Jews to a district in the south of the city. The Germans who are over running Poland take control and ownership of Krakow and from there the writing is pretty much on the walls for Poland's Jewish population.
However Schindler, a German businessman seeks to make a personal fortune out of the war and sets up an enamel earthenware factory in Krakow (still standing to this day). He employs only Jewish workers to man his factory as he knows that he doesn't need to pay these workers and so it cuts down on costs.
When the Germans attitude towards the Jews switches from not only stripping them of the assets, jobs and dignity and forcing them to live in ghettos but to work them and ultimatly kill them in the concerntration camps Schindler sees a threat to his profits.
Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, comes across in the film as a businessman first and not some sort of wholly good man bent on saving his people. Schindler is a man of charm and influance and is able to communicate with his workers, with the Germans and most importantly with Amon Goth.
Amon Goth, played by Ralph Fiennes is the Nazi in charge of the concentration camp of Plaszow (5 kilometers south of Krakow). From here Amon is responsible for keeping a healthy productive work force to make bombs and materials for Germany's war efforts. Those Jews too weak too old or just surpluss to requirements are sent on to Auschwitz to take their place in the "final solution".
Fiennes character is a power crazed Nazi who lives in his house on the hill over looking Plaszow concentration camp and who plays God with his prisoners. He is a vile man and easy to hate. Fiennes does a brilliant job in this role.
Shot mostly in Black and White with the exception of the red sequences and one other moment. During the "liquidation of the ghetto" we see a small girl wearing a red coat. The girl manages to escape the horrors taking place on the streets of the ghetto and finds a hiding place. Does the girl survive? We find out later in the film.
Shot in black and white, this film is so moving and so atmospheric. At times with some of the role call scenes in Peace Square in the Ghetto it is almost difficult to remember that this is a film and not footage of the actual event. The direction and production of this film are on another level.
The film is obviously going to be heartbreaking and infintly sad. The one scene that captures this most for me is the shower scene in Auschwitz where the women celebrate, their fears eroding as the water is turned on.
The inhumanity and brutality of the concentration camps is brilliantly captured in this film. This film is at times distressing and may not be for everyone but this is a historical piece. As is written on a plaque at Auschwitz
"those who forget history are bound to relive it again"
Whilst this is a difficult watch it is important that everyone sees this film.
As for Schindler - was he a great man or just someone profiting from others misfortune? Well for me this film is inconclusive. I believe that he was in it for the money first and foremost and the result of this being him saving his people was an added extra.
An amazing film that everyone should see. And when you have seen it get yourself over to Poland to visit the remains of modern histories worst moments.
Judged by traditional Hollywood criteria, Schindler's List gets everything wrong. It's over 3 hours long, is shot entirely in black and white, has a depressing theme and is directed by someone with only a limited track record on "issue" films. I guess the fact it went on to win multiple awards, pack out cinemas and endures as a powerful piece of film-making shows what Studio Execs know.
Schindler's List tells the moving story of the Polish Jews during World War II and how some of them, under the protection of German capitalist Oskar Schindler, managed to survive the ghettos and concentration camps.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this is very much a personal project, a re-telling of modern Jewish history for a new audience. As one of the undoubted masters of popcorn entertainment, Spielberg uses all his skills, finely honed over the years, to craft a touching, moving, fascinating and horrifying tale.
It would have been easy to make Schindler's List too moral and too schmaltzy - particularly given Spielberg's tendencies towards saccharin sweet happy endings. This, though, is the film which showed the world he could do grim and gritty as well as light and frothy. Right from the start, he establishes a grim atmosphere in which random death is dealt out everywhere. Undoubtedly Schindler's List contains emotion by the bucket load, but the emotion is genuine, not forced: emotion borne out of shame, disbelief and horror at the events unfolding before our eyes. Yet, Schindler's List is never overly moralistic or preachy. It simply presents the events and allows the viewer to judge.
It never shies away from showing the realities of life in the Polish Ghettos and Labour Camps and this is what makes it such a powerful piece of film-making. There are some truly shocking and violent moments: random executions seen close up bring home the danger to any individual deemed "worthless" by the Nazis, other scenes show violence and death to show on such a scale that it becomes difficult to comprehend how it could happen and almost becomes meaningless - so great are the casualties that the individual ceases to matter. If another film presented some of the events portrayed in Schindler's List, you'd reject them as being too fanciful and far-fetched. The disturbing thing here is that everything is true and the way they are portrayed makes them all too believable.
Shot in black and white, Schindler's List looks and feels remarkable. The cinematography is beautiful at times, with light cunningly used to create stark contrasts between the faces of characters, or to draw our attention to particular items on screen. Moreover, it adds to the period sense of the film - you actually feel as though you are watching archive or newsreel footage from the time, rather than something filmed in the 1990s. Spielberg's decision to shoot much of the footage on handheld cameras also reinforces the sense of reality, the sense of "being there" and adds much to the atmosphere of the film.
The strong atmosphere and moving story is anchored by a superb performance from Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler. He is utterly convincing as a man obsessed with simply making money, who gradually grows to understand exactly what is happening, and is one of the few people with enough courage to stand up to it. His performance is note perfect. Charming, humorous, charismatic, arrogant and, at times, despicable, his Schindler does both good and bad things - he's not a modern day Saint. His performance anchors the film and helps to give it a very human perspective. Frankly, the Academy should hang its collective head in shame that it chose to give the Best Actor Oscar to Tom Hanks (for Philadelphia) instead of Neeson.
Neeson's strong performance is backed up by Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, the Jew who runs Schindler's burgeoning empire. Kingsley brings a strong sense of warmth and compassion to his character, which contrasts strongly with the initial hard-headed stubbornness and hedonism of Schindler. The growing relationship and mutual respect between the two men is handled superbly, gradually introduced, rather than being summed up in a single scene.
Ralph Ffienes adds his support as sadistic prison commandant Amon Goeth. It would have been easy to make Goeth a stereotypical Nazi, but Ffienes teases out another side. Certainly, Goeth is violent, sadistic, cruel and despicable, but Ffienes tries to bring out a slightly more vulnerable side to his character. Despite his horrific actions, he is never cast as the "villain" of the piece and his subtle turn has the disturbing ability to almost make you feel some sympathy for him on one or two occasions. The only thing about Ffienes' performance is that his voice grates slightly- giving Goeth the voice of a whining little child... but then, for all I know, this could be a highly accurate portrayal of what he actually sounded like.
Credit, too, should go to the massive cast of unknown actors who make up the majority of the Jewish prisoners. They manage to portray the sense of panic, hope, fear, loss and hopelessness perfectly, always ensuring their characters remain sympathetic and pathetic, whilst always maintaining a shred of human dignity, no matter what depravities and horrors they are forced to witness.
With well over three hours of heavy material, Schindler's List should perhaps drag a little and become too depressing to watch in one sitting. Yet it never does. Right from the start, you are gripped, thrown straight into the middle of the chaos and taken you on an emotional, turbulent and disturbing journey. Yet, you will never want to stop watching it and will sit, enthralled, appalled until the deeply moving final sequence is played out. I vividly remember seeing this at the cinema. The audience was so gripped that not a single person moved from the moment the film started until the moment it finished - something virtually unheard in my experience. That's how powerful Schindler's List is.
There is only one solitary criticism I can think of. Occasionally captions appear on screen, explaining certain locations or certain facts. These are written in white text and, can sometimes be a little difficult to read. That's it. One small fault in a three hour film. It's about as close to perfection as a film will ever get.
Schindler's List should be compulsory viewing in all schools as a reminder of how easy it is for evil to prevail. At times it's not an easy film to watch, and you certainly need to be in the right frame of mind, but it is one which easily makes into my list of top ten films of all time.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Running time: 195 minutes
© Copyright SWSt 2009
Based on a true story, SCHINDLER'S LIST is Steven Spielberg's epic drama of World War II Holocaust survivors and the man who unexpectedly came to be their saviour. Unrepentant womaniser and war profiteer Oskar Schindler uses Polish Jews as cheap labour to produce cookware for the Third Reich. But after witnessing the violent liquidation of the walled ghetto where the Krakow Jews have been forced to live, Schindler slowly begins to realise the immense evil of Nazism. When his employees are sent to a work camp, they come under the terrorising reign of sadistic Nazi Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes). With the help of his accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), Schindler creates a list of 'essential' Jews. Bribing Goeth, Schindler manages to get 1,100 people released from the camp and brought to the safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia. Spielberg's glorious film is wondrously evocative, visually stunning, and emotionally stirring.