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  • Schindler's List is undoubtedly the best Holocaust film ever made. There just isn't anything like this film. Various other films have tried to show the true horrors of the Holocaust, but none of them succeeded the way that Schindler's List did. Schindler's List is a difficult film to watch. When you see the true atrocities of the Holocaust, your jaw drops. When you see the pain that all of the innocent people were going through, the only thing you can do is cry. The true goal of all Holocaust films is to make you feel sorrowful, and Schindler's List did that to me. If you want to see the best depiction of the Holocaust, make your way towards Schindler's List. Me n my kids cried during the pit scene.
  • I have only ever seen this film once, I only ever want to see this film once and I will only ever need to see this film once. It is etched on my mind. I, like many others, left in silence. I could not imagine inventing a critical analysis of this film, picking small points of detail or of style, or even scoring points off the Director. It stands alone as a monumental piece of cinema, a magnificent accomplishment.
  • I've seen this film one time in 1994. This is one of the best movies ever made, but many scenes of the film are so brutal, that I'm afraid to see this film for a second time.
  • crawdidd4243 May 2002
    This Movie was sensational. It was a piece of art along with being informational. It told people about the holocaust, and it also told people about the human spirit. It shows how people can just triumph over anything with just some help from one person The things that Spielberg did with the movie was incredible too. The black and white was genius, and how he had the little girl in red and the fire was phenuminal. I have never seen anything like it, Schindler's List is beyond all words.
  • onlyumangsri16 January 2018
    A movie which is so beautifully portrayed and is so hopeful that it won't let you take your eyes off it. The black and white portrayal is just exquisite and beyond words. I had a pleasure watching it and people out there must watch it there as well. This is literally one of the best artwork of cinema and the crown for Mr. Spielberg. The direction and screenplay is just astounding and for me this really is the most astonishing work of Mr. Fiennes. It was a great cinematic experience.
  • An incredible movie. One thing that stands out in my mind about this classic film is the great characterization of all the players due to superb acting, directing, and scripting. Ralph Fiennes character is especially vile but at the same time human. He may be 95% evil but to not present a stereotypical and archetypical 100% bad character makes him infinately more realistic. Filmed in black and white, this story certainly shows the shades of gray that is the duality of man. This is further exemplified by Schindler's own declaration of being a bad person because he could have done more good and saved more lives.
  • s-tb20 November 2011
    This movie, Schindler's List, is hands-down without a doubt one of the greatest films I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. Regardless of how much praise I include in my review, I should still think it deserves more. Few movies are actually able to pull tears out of my stubborn eyes, and the two that come right to mind are this one, and It's a Wonderful Life. Schindler's List is a grim portrayal of events in the Holocaust, while at the same time actually bringing light to some of the humanity still there. I was embarrassed when I actually started clapping in that classroom where I first watched this movie. I'd recommend it to anybody and it remains in my top selection of movies. Outstanding.
  • zaremskya-2376123 October 2017
    The Holocaust is a dark and touchy subject for many. Many believed it never happened, despite meticulous records kept by the Nazis themselves. Those who lived through it were scarred forever, and even now can barely bring themselves to discuss its horrors. Despite the controversy around the event, there is one thing for certain, Steven Spielberg created a masterpiece with Schindler's List. It is a film that will find no equal in terms of bleak, crushing drama. It sets out what it intends to do marvelously and leaves the viewer emotionally drained and questioning humanity itself.

    The film is in black and white, a very conscious choice by the director that makes the subject matter, already disturbing, even more so bleak and harrowing. Oskar Schindler is known for saving thousands of Jews destined for a grim fate during World War 2. The movie depicts concentration camp life is fairly dismal, with constant brutal oppression by Nazi camp guards and the sadistic Amon Goth, with a terrifying portrayal by Ralph Fiennes.

    Yes, this film will not make you cheery or happy. Yes it is about a miserable and dark period in human history, but it is an important film to watch for anyone interested in this historic subject matter and also a beautiful work of art for film lovers. Truly one of Spielberg's finest works. The fact that he is Jewish himself does add a personal touch to the tragic tale, but he never tries to overdo the sympathy or antipathy towards any group in the film. Everyone is human in it, the Jews and the Nazis; the tragedy is that humanity itself failed during this period of history, and we will never forget.
  • It had the sort of power you'd expect from Spielberg, the soundtrack is amazing, of course, and it actually contained many clever things as well.

    Still sad about the little girl in the red.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Too bad you can not give a ten because I think nothing is perfect, if I would not give it without hesitation. Spielberg shows again that directing is the best. Narrates like no one and as always uses the camera to make the best shots of the story in every way. With the plans, with the camera tells the story.

    He tells us a film, in which, although he changes the real story and retouches it to make it more human, since Oskar Schindler used the Jews, as he tells in a sequence, the price of each nationality, which causes us all kinds of feelings.

    The design of production as always great, he can do it, of course, but there are some who can and do it very badly.

    All the actors, supported by the magnificent costumes and makeup are great, they seem to be real. Liam's presentation is great, fast and simple.

    What a way to use ellipses, which are sometimes even fun, like when a woman goes on the train.

    No matter how much you see it, it will surprise you again.

    The photography is great, even when we see the girl in red, it may seem simple but I think it is not.

    The direction, is the own one of someone who dominates to the perfection, the visual narrative. He knows where to put the camera at every moment to tell a story. You do not have time to get bored. He knows when to make a slow plane. Know how to compose so that everything is where it should be and you can have everything in sight. Neither camera movement, nor the plane, nor the short between planes is free.

    I know it will be noticed that it is my favorite director but I can not help but surrender to someone who, apart from being commercial, is very good, I compare it to a Mercedes or a BMW, they will be commercial but they are good.

    Spoiler: It is impressive to see how the sequence in which the architect dies, with a slight movement of camera, characters and staging, is putting everything in place to make you look where you should look. That if it is not going to prohibit you from looking anywhere, everything to focus and everything telling you at once, bring the woman on camera so you can see who is going to be killed while a German drinks a coffee, total symbol of tranquility, for enhance the moment more. What a great genius, moments like that there are many in the movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Perhaps I should be shot, but I think four minutes of "Springtime for Hitler" is a more ingenious and powerful argument against anti-Semitism than four hours of "Shoah."

    Many Jews attribute the resilience of their culture to a capacity for laughter in the face of catastrophe. As Saul Bellow said, "Oppressed people tend to be witty." Pogroms didn't start with Hitler; by the time the Spanish Inquisition burned a hundred thousand Jews, the story of Jewish oppression already could fill many volumes. Many peoples once multitudinous have perished from the earth: there are no Carthaginians left. There are no more Thracians to speak of. The Celts live only in musical traditions and some old literature, having been subsumed by their conquerors. Their gods are dead, and their languages, or nearly so. But the Jews thrive on. Something kept hope alive under Stalin, under Isabella, under the Caesars. A sense of humor is a great virtue, not to be undervalued.

    But in order to make sure I appreciate the horror of the events portrayed, this movie cheats me of a glimpse at real life. The situations don't live as they might, because all the time I'm being flogged with message. There is no even partially redeemable Nazi in this movie, and Schindler's own late-stage change of heart is presented with such suddenness that the movie veers into melodrama. And even melodrama need not be propaganda; Minnelli and Ray always left us with choices. But "Schindler" must be classified as propaganda because it lacks the truth of even gallows humor, which by many reports existed in great abundance in the ghettos and even in the death camps.

    The films of Bunuel and Altman are often political but rarely propagandist. The films of Michael Bay and Marcus Nispel are always propagandist and not always political, though they are of course always bad. So propaganda need not be political, and politics need not be propaganda. This shouldn't need saying, but in the modern age of American politics, it's worth remembering. I wish Steven Spielberg remembered it.

    One can define propaganda objectively as a sort of forced perspective, a narrow range of potential reactions for the viewer. Propaganda is the use of art to persuade. It turns art into an expository essay. Propaganda is therefore by definition a limited form, limited by its very agenda. The tools of propaganda become less necessary the more inherently obvious the subject matter; the mass extermination of a people would seem to me to fit this category. So I think the style of this movie is unfortunately maudlin, an overkill on the negative. I am not heartless; I hate hate as much as anybody, and I celebrate Jews and all humans as valuable and not for burning. But is there no other way to express a political point than to make me cry for three hours?

    The fact is that film as a medium lends itself to propaganda. There is a decision made about every angle; literally, the perspective is chosen for the viewer. This is not the case with other arts, with musical performance, acting, writing, sculpture; but the more visual the medium, the greater its tendency to make statements and the less its potential for ambiguity. It takes a lot of skill to manage a visual art form into something with real depth, into a question rather than an answer.

    You can make propaganda about love, like "Love Story" or "English Patient"; you can make propaganda out of character, like "Patton" or "Lawrence of Arabia." The easiest and most common sorts of propaganda are flag-waving and hate-mongering - what's found in state of the union addresses and election campaign ads. At its best, propaganda can remind us of our values, of our responsibilities, of our mythologies and potentials; and so it can be a great good. At its worst, propaganda may contain any of the faults of any medium - it may be bland, dull, predictable. When it is these things, it is not very persuasive, and so it fails at its main intent.

    In this light, "Schindler's List" is maybe the second-best type of propaganda. It has real emotion, a compelling story, myriad technical virtues; it leaves me with no choice but to agree with it, but of course I agree with it already insofar as genocide is not a force for good. The movie moves me to an extent. But it lacks comedy, the propagandist's most effective tool; and so when it pretends to explore a range of humanity, it tells a half-truth.

    Liam Neeson plays an excellent cad, and Ralph Fiennes' raptor beak was never used to more terrifying effect. (It is among the many faults of the "Harry Potter" movies that they cut off his nose.) But I prefer "The Pianist" as a portrait of Nazi-occupied Poland. Aside from possessing greater artistic powers than Spielberg, Roman Polanski has an immensely deeper capacity for human truth. He does not preach, and he is not strident, and he is not sentimental. And he allows Adrien Brody to make me laugh occasionally, not as often as he makes me cry but sometimes. Shakespeare's trick of contrasting tragedy with comedy is not simply effective storytelling; it is a view to a more realized universe. "Jaws" has it. "E.T." has it. But Spielberg apparently felt that to be funny about the Holocaust would be in bad taste.

    As far as propagandist filmmakers go, I'll take Charlie Chaplin or Paul Verhoeven. They are at least funny; the pill of "Great Dictator" or "Starship Troopers" goes down more easily, more persuasively, therefore more effectively, than the pill of "Schindler" or "Private Ryan."
  • Warning: Spoilers
    You might not have heard about Oscar Schindler but you will definitely want to know more about him after watching the movie. He is credited with saving the lives of more than a thousand Jews during the Holocaust. He was named Righteous among the Nations by the Israeli Government a few years after the end of the Second World War. Righteous among the Nations is awarded to those non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust in various ways such as providing them food or shelter, arranging escape out of Germany and German- occupied territories, etc.

    Schindler's List is based on a 1983 novel, Schindler's Ark. It tells the story of the efforts of Oscar Schindler, a German, to help Jews during the Holocaust. Played by Liam Neeson, Oscar is not an easy character to comprehend. It takes you time to fully understand who he is. He is a person who might come across selfish to you at first. He is an opportunistic businessman. He comes across as one who, even during the wartime, is trying to find opportunities to make money rather than worrying about people's lives. But deep inside, he has a heart bigger than the most and at a time when Jews were struggling to find a helping hand, he helped more than a thousand Jews. He is not a person who will give you sympathy for you are going to lose someone close, but he is one who would take actions to save your closed one and not tell you when he does. You can see this in the movie when a Jewish lady approaches him begging to get her parents out of the concentration camp and into his factory. At first, he not only denies her help but also lashes out at his assistant showing frustration how his for-profit factory has come to be known to people outside as a charitable harbor for Jews. But you can hear the pain he feels for that lady and all the other Jews in his frustrated voice. Later in the scene, the lady's parents are shown being escorted out of the concentration camp into his factory.

    The movie starts with how Oscar Schindler, in the midst of the Second World War, sets up a factory manufacturing pots and pans to supply to the German army. Oscar hires a Jewish accountant to manage the factory. While the account runs the factory enormously profitably for Schindler, he hires many Jews who would have otherwise ended up in concentration camps. By getting German SS guards to believe that they have the important skill sets required for the factory, he cleverly sneaks many Jews out of the concentration camps.

    As Oscar is setting up his factory, the German SS is brutally evicting all the Jews out of their houses and moving them to ghettos and later to labor camps. As Oscar and his wife helplessly watch eviction of a ghetto from a hill overlooking it, he realizes the dreadfulness of the war and that he needs to look beyond the factory profits and help the Jews. The atrocities that the Jews face will touch your heart. In a scene of a labor camp, as little children are being taken away by German SS guards from their mothers, a child runs away to hide. He tries a few places including outhouses but finding them occupied by other children, he dives through a toilet seat in a toilet pit to hide. The fear of life on the face of the little child as he settles in the toilet pit will bleed your heart.

    As the war progresses, the state of the Jews worsens. The SS plans to exterminate all the Jews and hence gradually starts moving them from labor camps to concentration camps. Oscar's pots and pans factory are not considered important enough for the war effort to continue employing the Jews anymore but he is determined to keep the Jews in his factory, by now called Schindler Jews, from the concentration camps as he devises a new plan.

    Despite the dark and sad story-line, the movie has many snippets of humour. As Oscar's manager is cleverly hiring Jews in the factory by keeping the SS in dark, he also hires an old man without a left arm as a metal polisher. The state of the old man is sad and the act of the manager is kind. But the subtle humour in the situation is difficult to miss when Oscar comes to know about the old man and frustratingly asks his manager how the old man is useful for the factory.

    Overall, Schindler's list is a heart-touching and a powerful movie that will force even a cold heart to warm for a moment. The movie is engaging and will keep you engaged for the entire three hours. It is a must-watch. I give it a rating of 9 out of 10.
  • This is my all time favorite Spielberg film. Its truthful and reliable in its information and the encounter's at which takes place. I love the dedication to research and the intricate details in the film and how it was put together. This film will make anyone appreciate that which we all take for granted everyday... LIFE
  • *Story: Schindler is a German businessman and when the Holocaust starts to begin he decides to have Jews come work for him which will help them stay out of the concentration camps. As long as the Jews stay out of those camps Schindler makes money.

    *Review: Schindler's List is probably one of the best movies that I have ever seen and ever made. What's really good about this movie is the acting. Liam Neeson proves that he can act and he should have won a Oscar for his performance as Oskar Schindler. Ralph Fiennes also gives a great performance and should have won a Oscar for his performance as Amon Goeth but since the academy doesn't give awards to actors that play as bad people is dumb. What I really liked about this movie is how the whole movie is shot in black and white it just makes the movie even better. While your watching this movie you feel really emotional inside. Everything about this movie is just perfect from the acting, cinematography, musical score, writing, and directing. This movie is intense, emotional, and apiece of art. In one word I can describe this movie "MASTERPIECE". This is probably one of Spielberg's best movies he has directed. Schindler's List is a movie that everyone should see once in their life.

    "This list... is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf". - Itzhak Stern
  • Fantastic screening of the bloody history. Watching Schindler's List gives rise to know what means the 'TOP CLASS FILM', it's impossible to make better film in this subject matter. Steven Spielberg is a genius. Liam Neelson and Ralph Fiennes are showing us how talented and great actors are they. Well done to the cast and crew of this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I know many of you, out there will disagree with me, when I say that Schindler's List is one of the greatest film that there has ever been. It does sound that I'm extremely overrating it, but I truly believe that Schindler's List is up there with The Godfather and Citizen Kane I mean everything about is so good, that its close to perfection. The acting is brilliant, every actor does an amazing job. Liam Neeson as Schindler is incredible, no doubt about it. He should of won an Oscar for Best Actor. Ralph Fiennes is the one, who truly is the best actor in the film. He plays his antagonist role as Amon Goeth, so well that it is a travesty, he didn't win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I'm happy though, that the Academy chose this film for Best Picture, it was one of the best decisions they ever made. Because if this film wasn't considered Best Picture by the Academy, I don't know which film would be, expect maybe for The Godfather. Steven Spielberg certainly deserved an Oscar for Best Director. It was a smart idea for Steven Spielberg to make this film in black-white because it made the movie more bleak, emotional, hopelessness. But you see small patches of color -- A candle and a child's coat bringing the evilness of the tragedy into a agonizing focus. There's no doubt about it, this film will be a classic in decades, even hundreds of years to come in cinema. This film is without a doubt, the Best film that Spielberg has ever made. With many other Steven Spielberg's classics like Jurassic Park,Jaws,E.T, Raider of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, etc. Schindler's List will always be Steven Spielberg's most finest, important film. He blends his humanism to the tragic horror of the Holocaust to create an emotional masterpiece. 10/10 Absolutely Recommended!
  • Schindler's list is not a bad film per se - Liam Neeson is very good as Schindler and if you edit out some of the more overblown scenes - the story is still riveting. Yet it could have been so much more if the story just told simply and if the central theme were fully understood and developed.

    Before the war Schindler and his friend, Goeth were boozy, flirtatious German businessmen. Both would have likely been uninspired failures had there been no war. In a kinder world, Goeth's and Schindler's moral differences might have manifested themselves in the size of the tip that they would leave the barmaid. In war, the consequences of moral choices are greatly magnified, resulting in Schindler becoming a most unlikely heroic figure, and Goeth becoming a loathed prison commandant. In the film, Spielberg elevates Schindler to sainthood status and portrays Goeth as a sadistic psychopath. By sanitizing Schindler's many faults (boozing, gambling, womanizing...) and by demonizing Goeth, Spielberg severs our connection with them and, ironically, blunts the conflict between them. Adolf Eichmann was far more chilling than Charles Manson. Unlike Manson, whom we could dismiss as psychotic, Eichmann was the faceless functionary that we have all experienced, whose defense of "following orders" is one that we have all heard, a defense that was used by many during the war, and one that we might see ourselves using under similar circumstances had we not Schindler's courage. By making Schindler a saint, Spielberg diminishes both his accomplishment and his inspiration to us - saints have no problems making the right decision - the rest of us do. Rather than a gaping chasm, there is but a fine moral line between Schindler and Goeth - one that we tread every day, which fortunately for us, rarely does more than determines a barmaid's salary.

    Spielberg does not develop this simple theme, preferring to impress us with a grandiose view of a great moral tale. Instead, he comes off as the underskilled sous-chef drowning a wonderful filet mignon in an overly rich sauce. The quality of the ingredients still shine through despite the clumsy handling but does not approach its great potential. In the end, the best thing about the film is that it reminds Americans of a monstrous event in history. It is unfortunate that this reminder is necessary and that it reduces such a timeless parable to a useful public service announcement.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Holocaust is undoubtedly one of the most significant and horrifying events of the twentieth century. Between 1938 and 1945, the Jewish population was segregated and persecuted, culminating in the merciless slaughter of approximately six million Jews (this figure is quoted in the film, though most historical estimates vary between five and seven million). Amidst all this butchery, one man decided to make a difference, famously saving the lives of more than 1100 Jews- men, women and children who would otherwise have been killed.

    Oskar Schindler (played brilliantly by Liam Neeson, "Batman Begins") was a Sudeten German industrialist, a wealthy womanizer who wasn't afraid to throw his money around. Always bearing his Nazi Party badge proudly, Schindler would often frequent nightclubs, extravagantly showering high-ranked Nazi officers and their girlfriends with champagne and caviar. With impeccable connections in the black-market, there was little that he couldn't get his hands on, and he was a good person to know. Buying friends was something that Schindler could do well, and he would often use these newfound alliances to aid his own business ventures. When thousands of the Polish Jew population was relegated to the Kraków Ghetto in 1941, Schindler saw an opportunity for further success, enlisting desperate Jewish investors and employing Jewish workers (who were substantially cheaper to employ) to open an enamelware factory. His connections in high places ensured lucrative army contracts, and Schindler need only have watched as his personal fortune grew, despite doing little to run the company beyond offering it "a certain panache."

    It is clear from the beginning that Oskar Schindler does not harbour any racial prejudices. When Schindler requests the services of Itzhak Stern (a superb Ben Kingsley, "Gandhi"), a clever, humanitarian Jewish accountant, Stern declares that, "By law I have to tell you, sir, I'm a Jew." "Well, I'm a German, so there we are," replies Schindler indifferently, before getting straight to business. It is not race that he is concerned with, it is himself… and, of course, his money. Stern does not enjoy running Schindler's business, and he initially acquires little satisfaction from it. When Schindler attempts to convey his genuine gratitude for his profitable services with a glass of whiskey, Stern absentmindedly refuses to drink it, and an embittered Schindler drinks it himself before ordering Stern to leave.

    With the arrival of Amon Goeth (played as the epitome of evil by Ralph Fiennes, "Red Dragon"), a Hauptsturmführer of the SS, the hopeless plight of the Jews grows darker. In a harrowing extended sequence, largely based on the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, the Jews are mercilessly "liquidated" from the Krakow Ghetto, many simply shot on the spot. "Today is history," proclaims Goeth. "Today will be remembered. Years from now the young will ask with wonder about this day. Today is history and you are part of it…. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. Today is history."

    This sequence also marks the celebrated appearance of the little girl in the red coat. An ingenious plot device, the character was based upon a real girl named Roma Ligocka who, unlike her film counterpart, survived the war, and wrote a memoir entitled "The Girl in the Red Coat: A Memoir". The embodiment of innocence, Schindler spots the small girl wandering amongst the black-and-white chaos of the Krakow Ghetto, and we follow her as she retreats into a building and takes shelter under a bed. When Schindler later notices her disheveled corpse carted past him to be incinerated, he is understandably horrified, unable to understand how the soldiers could possibly destroy something so innocent. This event memorably signifies the turning-point of Schindler's attitudes towards the carnage, fuelling his desire to save as many Jews as possible.

    Long known as a "blockbuster" filmmaker – with such adventure classics as "Jaws," "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to his name - "Schindler's List" was - and remains - Steven Spielberg's most mature directorial effort. Working with a screenplay that Steven Zaillian adapted from Thomas Keneally's Booker Prize-winning 'Schindler's Ark,' Spielberg treats the subject matter with the respect it deserves. Wisely choosing to depict the events as realistically as possible, Spielberg allows the images to speak for themselves. Flawless acting, stunning cinematography and a haunting John Williams score excel this film above all others of the 1990s. This is the powerful story of the difference that just one man can make, and it is a story that deserves to be seen by all. We can only feel grateful that it was Steven Spielberg who chose to be at the helm.
  • Poor Oskars's remarkable and more than brave endeavor in saving human lives during the dark days of WW2 in Europe almost immediately takes a back seat to the lamentations of the filmmaker in perpetuating the plight of a certain group of people on which unspeakable atrocities were perpetrated upon. A film that helps promote liberties taken over the years by that certain group of people from anything to a good seat at the Opera to unabated attempts to destroy other people's beliefs and right to exist.

    This film is (unfortunately), not about a man's humanitarian well-meant efforts to do what he could to help to save a group of desperate and obviously(for most of them) doomed to their certain death, people.

    The point that came across was visually witnessing the random acts of a certain person committing atrocities and exaggerating them to an extent that diminished what really happened to those people. In trying to add visual credibility via sensationalism made a mockery and a not so subtle message that a certain group of people have rights forever to commit atrocities to avenge what befell them over the centuries. If there is such a thing as a hate film, well this is it, generalizing 40 million people as monsters for the actions of a handful of lunatics sanctioned by the so-called Allies that were still full of boast and smugness and let's face it, blindness to what was going on. In short, the filmmaker's point was very subjective, to put it mildly.
  • elaurens8820 September 2000
    Here is Barbara's List of all the reasons why Schindler's List is the most annoyingly overpraised film of all time. 1.Overlong 2.Spielberg's most self-indulgent film, which is pretty pathetic, considering that he also made Saving Private Ryan 3.self-consciously arty 4.overabundance of cheesy filmmaking gimmicks.

    If I had more time, I could go on forever....
  • Schindler's List is one of the most overrated films of all time: It won seven Oscars. It is the 6th highest rated film on IMDb. The critics loved it, and the Internet is flooded with reviews where people rave about being "deeply moved" or "touched."

    Ultimately, the film is a shallow failure.

    A good drama film needs several qualities. Of these, the most important is the exposition of characters and their interactions. Schindler's List flops spectacularly in this respect. We start out following the tale of Oskar Schindler, an opportunistic, profiteering businessman. But midpoint in the film, this Schindler persona has disappeared, and we have a new character clothed in the same flesh -- a self-sacrificing philanthropist who spends his entire amassed fortune to save the Jew workers. How did we get from one to the other? How did Schindler transform from the evil Mr. Hyde to the benevolent Dr. Jekyll? Steven Spielberg certainly doesn't show us -- maybe it happens via magic, like the bicycle ride in ET?

    And what about Amon Göth, the representative Nazi? A "grotesque caricature" if there ever was one. He's an evil, sadistic, Jew-hating Nazi bastard -- but do we get to know why he wakes up every morning, takes a swig of booze and snipes Jew prisoners for fun? No. Spielberg thinks the answer is obvious -- he's a Nazi, and Nazis don't have reasons for the things they do. They're just rabid dogs out for blood, utterly devoid of any moral dimension. But this sort of shallow political correctness can't possibly cut any slack with intelligent viewers. We want to know why Göth hates the Jews so much that he fires his pistol into a pile of decimated corpses, but we never get to know. Apparently, he does it because he's an Evil Nazi, and that's all there is to it.

    The attempt to add depth to Göth's character by dwelling on his twisted love affair with a Jewish girl is easily seen for what it is -- a cheap exposure of Nazi hypocrisy. How about trying to dwell on real issues here, Spielberg? How about trying to pass these people off as genuine (albeit twisted) human beings?

    This shortcoming is not restricted to Spielberg. When will Hollywood own up to the fact that the men who ran the Third Reich were not mindless monsters? Some of them were cultivated intellectuals and scientists, others compassionate family men and devoted friends. Germany was the best educated country in Europe when the Nazis rose to power. The true intrigue of the Holocaust does not lie in the brutality, but rather in Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil". How can a man (or millions of men) arbitrarily narrow the moral sphere to exclude people seemingly no different from neighbours, friends and family? How can a man fall under the sway of a dispassionate and cruel ideology while leading a normal life of compassion?

    Needless to say, none of these issues are explored by Spielberg.

    Another peeve of mine: Accents. There are English-speaking films and then there are German-speaking films. Schindler's List, on the other hand, does not belong to either of these categories. Instead, Spielberg opted to have the characters speak English with a German accent. What the hell? Listening to Liam Neeson strut about trying to sound like an Anglicised German is just pathetic. : Spielberg's trying to please Hollywood audiences by making the film accessible to them (and hence, no spoken German), but for the love of God! We get the point! They're in Nazi Germany. Yes, Hitler's in charge. Yes, it's a nasty, genocidal regime. Please, no cheesy accents.

    One of the truly unforgivable aspects of the film is the ending. A mildly touching speech by Schindler about being a war criminal on the run, wanted by the victors of the war, set just the right mood. It would have been perfect. But no, Spielberg couldn't resist messing it up -- he had to have Schindler break down, bawl and cry, grief-stricken and lashed by pangs of conscience. Spare me the anguish, Spielberg. The grief should have been that of the Jews, not Schindler.

    When Schindler took off his gold ring and blubbers out "I could have saved one more", I experienced a feeling of mild revulsion. Look, the guy did a great job, he saved a lot of lives. No point in getting all worked up about the fact that he didn't literally sell the skin of his back to save people he didn't know.

    What does this film leave us after 195 minutes of running time? Let's see:

    * The Nazis were *Really Evil* * There was a man called Schindler who didn't care about anything but money at first, and then for some reason he started to care about saving the Jews.

    Brilliant, Spielberg. Positively brilliant.

    All of the above-mentioned flaws are bad enough -- but the way the film manipulates the viewer really takes the cake. Shots of emaciated, shaved potential Holocaust victims starving and screaming, with tragic violin music to boot. It has been done in many films before, and will be done again. It doesn't take skill for a film-maker to coerce the viewer into sorrow -- It takes skill to produce the same feelings without resorting to cheap, melodramatic trickery. The Pianist is a superb counter-example. A journey of the mind is so much more satisfying than a journey of the senses...

    Like most of Spielberg's films, Schindler's List is technically outstanding. It captures the mood of wartime Germany perfectly. The sets, costumes and cinematography are all top-notch, and the acting is not too bad either. However, none of these things can overcome the fact that Spielberg is a director of extremely limited vision. His moral and intellectual depth is that of a child.

    Stick to making films for children, Spielberg. Stick to making children's films. You're out of your depth.
  • This film is very empty, for not only does it portray the Germans as "evil, lop-sided, devil worshippers" but it shows the Jews as being "promising, alluring, good guys". If one is to question morality, then do so, but do not give us the black vs white issue found in this film. Speilberg, immature since day one as director, tells us what to think, he strips away our humanity by overdosing us on excessive amounts of guilt and sentimentality. In effect, the film lacks any moral basis except to denounce all evil men and with that, we learn absolutely nothing.....
  • Steven Spielberg makes one of (if not the one) his greatest movies of all time. Liam Neeson gives a great performance as Schindler and the whole film is just powerful, amazing and sad but it doesn't matter because the movie is so good. Ralph Fiennes makes an even better performance as Goeth, a man who made everyone stare into the screen with anger and sadness and that is just what a movie is supposed to do-make you feel sad, happy, angry or effect you in some way. I read that someone thought it was overrated and bad, but I think it's a classic and it'll never go away. So if you want to see one of the greatest historical films ever made, then go see Schindler's List.

    EDIT: I wrote this when I was 12 or 13, and I'm so sorry about my AWFUL English... Ah, well just have that in mind when you read this. =)
  • Schindler's List is not only a pure masterpiece but, for me, it is one of the greatest films ever made in the world.

    The film starts off to reveal a womanizing, Nazi business man who profited off of slave labor. The Nazi business man is of course Oskar Schindler. Oskar is just like most men. He has a love for good wine, beautiful women, and pursues happiness through the success of his business. But on his journey to a successful business, millions of Jews were being killed during a time which most label as one of the darkest periods of human history. As Oskar made money, innocent people were being murdered. That's when the self-centered, often money hungry Oskar steps in and gives up his goal of having a successful business to save the lives of over 1,000 Jews.

    This film is about redemption and was beautifully photographed in black and white by Janusz Kaminski (cinematographer). At the helm is no one other than Steven Spielberg, who brilliantly called non-pretentious shots and brought back to life a time and period most want to forget, but shouldn't. This film is a must see by me. I give the film an "A+" (wishing I could give it a higher grade than that) and a 10 out of 10...
  • ohiorock14 March 2000
    One thousand words, the maximum for this review, are hardly enough to describe the direct impact this film had on me as well as some of my friends. Spielberg does a wonderful job depicting the harsh reality of Jewish Life back in the early 1940's. I vaguely remember one of his comments before the first commercial free showing of this film on NBC: "We must not forget the tragedy these Jews had to endure..." I am thoroughly convinced that I will never ever forget this movie now or 50 years from now. Schindler's List is powerful in direction, hypnotic in nature, and perfect in form. One of the best films of all time, if not THE best. Simply a great work, well deserving of all of its Oscars, especially Best Picture. I applaud you, Mr. Spielberg.
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