Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire
Daniel Del Ponte
Friedrich von Thun
Running Time: 195 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
The world of right thinking people held their breath as Steven Spielberg took the reigns of a movie focussing on the Holocaust, however, rather than resembling The Producers, Schindler’s List is a masterpiece and seminal Holocaust movie.
Schindlers List is a true story about cold entrepreneur Oskar Schindler (Neeson) who sets out to make his fortune from the Second World War. At first he employs an entirely Jewish workforce because they are cheap and unemployable elsewhere but as the Nazis become intent on the extermination of the Jewish race, he begins to feel moral obligations to save them from exportation to the death camps.
To endear it to mainstream audiences Spielberg concentrates on Schindler’s inspirational story and alongside the evil, we also get glimpses of humanity throughout, which allow the viewer to make it through the film. Shot in stark black and white, the only glimpse of colour we receive is the girl in the red dress, which is a brilliant device to focus the attention on the individual innocence of the victim amidst the madness of the Ghetto clearances and mass executions.
The performances are all spot on and memorable characters are fashioned out of the sheer numbers involved. Long suffering accountant Itzhak Stern (Kingsley) has scores of Jewish lives riding on his actions, Amon Goeth is the inhumane Camp Kommandant (Fiennes), and, of course, there is Oskar Shindler, the smooth talking businessman with a heart of gold. The actors all shine and deserve the awards and accolades heaped on them. The Holocaust was about the sheer scale of numbers and the haunting atmosphere of the film is created with a liberal killing of the extras that never lets up. Schindler’s List has been elevated above the status of a mere film and should be compulsory viewing for each new generation as a warning against racism and Totalitarianism.
It's Got: Gritty realism, an inspirational story, excellent acting
It Needs: To be seen and preserved for the future.
DVD Extras Quite skimpy except for an excellent 77 minute Holocaust documentary DVD Extras Rating: 7/10
Spielberg’s greatest work is compulsory viewing