"...the Nazi persecution of the Jews is a perilous subject matter since it can so easily elicit automatic reactions of moral outrage, personal horror, religious self-righteousness and dramatic extremes, not to mention severe depression", (McCarthy, 1993)
Schindler's list premiered mere months after the inauguration of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, leading to a capitalising success on the American peoples cultural focus on historical voyeurism. The critical reception of Schindler's List is a intellectual discussion on the moral nature of a film through the ability to dramatize what was deemed impossible; critically selectively received with a social conscious, and a division on Spielberg's stylistic representation of the subject matter. The scholarship on Schindler's List only reaches one shared thesis that of its transitional nature in his cinematic career into a more self-styled seriousness with arching the blockbuster with sober artistic work (Grainge, Jancovich, & Monteith, 2012). Critical reception of Spielberg's work comments on the true nature of its testimony in memorial to the Holocaust with appropriate restraint or typical emotional manipulation, combined with arguments of the nature of film is artistic or entertaining. Temporal and spatial variations don't seem to affect the critics review, it appears to be more the view of Spielberg as an auteur and also their comfort in exploring such a sensitive historical memory. Deconstruction of the reception will discuss the stylistic nature of the film with a controversial documented cinematography, alongside Schindler's List's place among other works in regards to the subject of the Holocaust and Spielberg's handling of the digestible.
Immediately and most appar...
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...a film it is not simply a work of art, it is a story of a historical tragedy that would deem economically successful; Schindler's List is about 200 Jews who lived, while the Holocaust is about 6 million that died, the film required a Hollywood nature around it in order to be popular and consumable (Kubrick, 2000).
Grainge, P., Jancovich, M., & Monteith, S. (2012). Film Histories; An introduction and reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Heilman, J. (2004, May). Schindler's List. Retrieved March 2014, from Movie Martyr: www.moviemartyr.com
Kauffman, S. (1993, December 10). A New Spielberg; and Others. New Republic .
Kubrick, S. (2000).
Malcolm, D. (1994, February 17). Schindler's List. Guardian .
McCarthy, T. (1993, November 19). Review of Schindler's List. Variety .
Novick, P. (2000). The Holocaust In American Life. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Schindler's List, by Steven Spielberg is an award-winning masterpiece - a movie which portrays the shocking and nightmarish holocaust in a three-hour long epic. The documentary touch re-creates a dark, frightening period during World War II, when Jews in Nazi-occupied Krakow were first deprived off , of their businesses and homes, then placed in ghettos and were then forced to labor for no consideration in camps in Plaszow, and finally they were resettled in concentration camps for execution. The violence and brutality of Nazi’s treatment towards Jews is a series of horrific incidents that are brilliantly showcased.
Stephen Speilberg's Academy Award winning film 'Schindler's List' raised many questions about the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. The film's focus centered on one specific Jewish community, and the impact one man, Oskar Schindler, had upon it. Schindler's involvement with the Jews started with the birth of a business venture. An enterprising Nazi, Schindler saw an opportunity. In exchange for money to start his business, (a ceramics factory), he could offer capable Jews an escape from the deathly work camps. Throughout the course of the war however, Schindler's motives and motivation both change; once a greedy, adulterous, socialite Nazi, Schindler transforms into a kind, caring, monogamous humanitarian.
Spielberg decided to shoot the movie in black and white for the entirety of the film to enhance scenes and foreshadow good and evil. He does, however, use color for the girl in the red coat which symbolizes the turning point for Schindler. The candles are also used as a symbol. The smoke that started in the beginning would later become the smoke from the trains and crematoriums, representing Jewish life and Jewish death. He also uses a Nazi protagonist which goes against what a Holocaust film should have as the main character. Schindlers list is an important one, and his story should always be remembered. He started off as a war profiteer and then became a savior for 1,100 Jews. Stern was beside Schindler during the War and he helped change who he was for the better. Stern is the only main Jewish character in the film. Goeth helps us understand Nazi ideology throughout the course of the film and we see in many instances how unaffected he was with each Jew that he killed. It also shows his inner struggle because of his Jewish maid but ends up beating her and letting her go with Schindler because he became more interested in money. The film touches on many important parts of the Holocaust including race. We see this when Schindler goes to jail for kissing a Jew, and how he was told that it was against the law. To further credit this movie, the use of the real Schindlers Jews at the end help increase
Last semester my documentary production professor told my classmates and I to avoid making films that were too much like Holocaust or civil rights films. This really struck me as an almost cold statement, however this semester in both this class and the film and Holocaust class that I took I began to understand what he meant. After reading much of Aaron Kerner’s book I saw even more, it wasn’t a statement on the subject matter but the filmic techniques that have been overused in the genres. The most burnt out are the tropes within each film; like the crafty jew trope, the jew as a victim, or as a hero, and the usage of naziploitation. These are all found in films revolving around the Holocaust and the film Europa Europa (Agnieska Holland, 1990)
The Holocaust was a time of horrible cruelty. Millions of people were forced into atrocious conditions and suffered unspeakable treatment. They were treated worse than cattle, losing their identity. The German people after the war also lost their individual identities. Even though most of the population had no idea what was going on, they were blamed and stereotyped as monsters for the actions of a small group. Schindler’s List (1993), directed by Steven Spielberg, tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who was different than the Nazi party, saving thousands of Jews from slaughter during the Holocaust and giving them back their identities. Steven Spielberg, through the use of symbolism, wide angle, long angle, and handheld camera shots, and black and white filming, shows the importance of individualization in contrast to the dehumanization of the Holocaust, and how that distinction caused extreme cases of death and chaos. Though the movie does alter Oskar Schindler to make him more like the stereotypical protagonist, it is still a good historical movie because the outcome is the same: over 1,000 Jewish men, women, and children saved because of Schindler’s actions.
When viewed through the lens of history, the events in this epic film can be seen as mirroring the oppression, pressure to assimilate, governmental betrayal, and ultimate struggle to find closure experienced by many Jewish people during and after the reign of the Nazis in Germany, which ended in 1945, and the investigations of the House of Un-American Activities in the United States, the last of which was held in 1951. This movie, and its call for forgiveness in a move toward unity with enemy factions was possibly a plea for those who had experienced so much pain at the hands of those they had once called friends to forgo seething passions and move forward in peace.
This film was very successful in achieving that purpose. To being with, Spielberg had a clear goal of what emotions he had about the subject in this movie. He wanted it to be “an act of remembrance for the public record” and a legacy of Jewish culture that would benefit the community as a whole. Spielberg takes over three hours to accomplish his goal. He uses the time to focus on what individual, Oskar Schindler, and to show the Holocaust from Oskar’s perspective. Spielberg does not use trite appeals such as scenes of Hitler to conjure up fear in the audience. Instead, he approaches the subject matter in a very honest way. There is a sense of sincerity throughout the film. The immense amount of character development in Schindler’s List allows for Spielberg to very effectively communicate his feelings about the subject matter to the masses as was his
In order to give out the true perspective of the Holocaust, filmmakers should factualize,not personalize the experience by trivializing, through communicating with type of art, making art personalized rather than having sources or materials to make it factual. Make sure that they can communicate through educating the people, more than trying to entertain the people. When making Holocaust films, filmmakers should avoid not using sources or references because it could lead to misinterpretation to the audience. They should also avoid lack of emotion. Emotion provides sympathy to the audience, making the audience feel for the characters.
Feature film plays a central, but controversial, role in our perception and memory of the Holocaust. Baron’s point that people today are almost all non-witnesses to the events of the Holocaust demonstrates the gap in collective memory, which is exacerbated by the fact that there were few survivors to the atrocities in the Jewish community. Essentially, film has become a medium for perpetuating the memory of the atrocities of the Holocaust, by reaching audiences who did not experience it.
Years after the war ended, a group of Schindlerjuden still wanted to unite with their hero again. In 1949, four years after the war ended, a group of around thirty-five Schindlerjuden gathered to celebrate and thank Oskar for what he did. They gave speeches which were full of kind works and thankfulness. One went on to say, "At the factory, they sneered at us 'Schindlerjuden.' Today, were are proud of that name." Schindler responded with tears and embraced each and every one of them (Steinhouse 13). This goes to show the appreciation and thankfulness that the Schindlerjuden had towards Oskar—he will never be forgotten. Oskar was recognized in various countries for what he did—including Israel. In 1974, Oskar passed away but his legacy lived on. He was declared a "Righteous Gentile." His remains were even transported from Frakfurkt to be buried in a cemetery in Jerusalem on Mount Zion (Steinhouse 12). According to Louis Bülow, he wanted to be buried there because his "children" were there(3). This passage logically implies that his legacy lives on and touches many people around the world. Finally, Oskar Schindler's story was made into a movie, "Schindler's List." In Steven Spielberg's film, many times in Oskar's life were shown. From the time he only cared about profit and joining the Nazi party, to gaining an empathy for Jews and doing anything he could to save them (Crowe 523). According to Louis Bülow, there are more than 8,500 descendants of his Jews today—that's a lot(3). This demonstrates that Oskar's story touched so many people—enough to make a movie about it. Schindler's legacy is known by many today and hopefully by many in the future. He not only saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews, but their descendants
The Holocaust is often considered one of the darkest and most heinous periods in modern history, however there are numerous accounts of heroism and selfless charity to emerge from the ashes. Despite the Nazi regime’s stranglehold on European affairs during a large part of the second world war, their radical and racially charged agenda was not universally accepted amongst German citizens and Nazi officials. The fear of strict punishment at the hands of the SS squashed popular outcry over the atrocities, but it did not stop the heroic acts of a few compassionate and unassuming individuals. One such hero is Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist who spearheaded an effort to protect his Jewish factory workers from the uncertain fate of the the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps. When asked about his motives Schindler reported, "I just couldn't stand by and see people destroyed. I did what I could, what I had to do, what my conscience told me I must do" (Schindler). Though Schindler was himself a registered member of the Nazi party he would would ultimately be responsible for saving the lives of some twelve hundred Jews by wars end. However, the original twelve hundred are merely a portion of Schindler’s lasting impact and the real significance is in the “nearly 7,000 living descendants of Schindlerjuden (Schindler’s Jews)” (Sandweiss). Thus, Schindler’s legacy was cemented in his defiance and in his preservation of future generations of Jews around the world.