Steven Spielberg’s heart wrenching film ‘Schindler’s List’ hinges on protagonist, war-profiteer Oskar Schindler and his gradual revelation in which he realises the true horror faced by the Jews throughout WWII under the Nazi regime. Schindler at first is wholly indifferent to the suffering of the Jewish people, however as the film progresses we see his true nature revealed. He is not a cold and uncaring capitalist, but a compassionate gentle soul. Spielberg perfectly presents Oskar Schindler and his complicated and difficult journey in becoming the good Samaritan we see towards the end of the film, Spielberg does so in a way in which adds to the enjoyment and appreciation of the film experience overall.
In the opening sequence, Spielberg artfully establishes Schindler’s persona as a confident, powerful, and financially motivated war-profiteer, not forgetting also a member of the Nazi party. He does so by using clear imagery such as the display of many extravagant ties suggesting Schindler to be of the upper class, also we see Schindler gathering wads of cash, understandably an example of Schindler’s finances and related motives. The use of this imagery suggests to the audience that Schindler is the classic Nazi baddie and is in his nature evil; someone we cannot sympathise with, due to his unhealthy materialism and apparent indifference towards the Jewish people. However, Spielberg’s use of effective character building dialogue presents Schindler to be incredibly charismatic and someone the audience take a liking to, we can’t help but wanting to see Schindler do some good despite his superficial malevolence. Spielberg’s movie magic all help to contribute to Schindler’s funda...
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... is by the end of the film; also through emotionally moving the audience and the happy conclusion of the duo finally becoming friends, we have increased appreciation for the film as a whole.
Schindler’s character arc highlights the gradual changes that can take place within us all and how friendships can appear from the most unlikely of places. Although Schindler may arguably have become a hero through satisfying his established ego we are shown by Spielberg the things we as humans are capable of. Although the Nazis were capable of the unforgivable horrors they committed they are also capable of great good as well as seen in Schindler’s List. We must ask ourselves are we really achieving our full potential and if so, are we are headed in the right direction, not necessarily the conventionally good direction for all of mankind, but the right one for us?
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