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A Look at Schindler’s List

Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Schindler’s List portrayed the indifferences and injustices associated with the Holocaust. The events of guilt and suffering were so horrific in the film’s scale and intensity that it was only suitable for a documentary style of interpretation. Spielberg’s strength to present a historically based event derived from the subtle way he chose to interpret the film. It seemed only fitting, a film as powerful and disturbing as Schindler’s List emerged from Spielberg’s creative abilities. I was moved by Spielberg’s use of film techniques, and creative abilities to interpret the Holocaust in a subtle form.

The opening scene was highly significant. It displayed a powerful assortment of shots of Jewish life before the Holocaust. The golden light, the serene atmosphere, and the sounds of prayer all conveyed a sense of warmth and intimacy, then moments later; the people were abruptly taken away. Moreover, the candles were left burning, and the scene was replaced with a black and white shot, which represented the death of the Jew’s. Symbolically the smoke carried from the candles was once innocent and pure; transmit into the smoke from the crematorium at Auschwitz later on in the film.

This faint representation outlined the innocence of the Jews through symbolic terms. In accordance with the documentary styled scene, Spielberg referred to historical events where the Nazis had come to Poland for anti-Jewish orders. We saw the faces of the Jews who lined up signing papers, implied to us; they were signing their lives away without even knowing it. The Nazis only saw them as names on a list. It was a momentous and factual scene. The portrait depiction of the Nazi’s Spirit is very subtlety. Other powerful, negative settings were the quadrangle.

At Plaszow, there were ows of buildings, squashed crowds of people and the long shot of the Krakow ghetto from the hill. The sun rarely shined and when it did there was a depressing irony about what was happening. The darkness of the images worked powerfully on our feelings. It created a sympathetic feeling towards the Jews. Consequently, the lighting, coloring, camera angling, and clothing, did not apply to the literary texts, but were all a vital part of the film’s meaning and subtleties. Very often in a film, it is not the explicit violence which grips us, but the powerful use of suggestion.

For example, the shower rooms turned out to be genuine; however by sharing the terror of the women looking upwards and waiting for the gas, we understood by implication what millions of others experienced in their dying moments. This illusive approach did not require editorializing to make a moral point about what was being depicted. The fear was sensed through camera angles and the looks on the women faces. We actually felt ourselves in that situation. This was an important authentic event, where the form of subtlety was efficiently used to decipher the inhumane acts which occurred uring the Holocaust.

Indeed, Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List is one of his greatest works, as well as, one of the most powerful and compelling analysis of the Holocaust in the past several years. Without the use of violence or agonizing scenes, Spielberg managed to outlay his interpretation of the Holocaust by using his creative ability accordingly through the usage of several film techniques. More importantly, each scene interpreted accurate, sacredly embedded and disturbing historical events; Spielberg successfully conveyed the meaning to us in a heart-wrenching and subdued decorum.

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