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Schindlers List Theme Essay

Schindler’s List: Research Essay Schindler’s List is a film that shows being generous can change history. Oskar Schindler is a man who broke the mold of a Nazi and shows what can happen when you do what you believe in. Throughout the classical film, Schindler displays how having power can either hurt you or help with the assistance of his accountant Stern. Also, how the setting has helped make this story come to life. In the 1993 film, Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg portrays the theme of the power of one through characterization and setting.

Schindler’s List was released in 1993, but the era the movie took place was in the 1940s so nderstandably the movie was done in black and white. During that time in the 1940s, color television and films were not invented yet. It was not until the 1950s the first colored TV program debuted on CBS. In the decade of the 90s, movie budgets skyrocketed averaging around 53 million dollars to produce a film. Schindler’s List, on the other hand, stayed below the average to only around 25 million dollars. Another monumental moment for the film industry in the 90s were special effects.

Since the movie was in black and white, there were no special effects with color, only when there was a little girl in the picture. Her coat was the only time in the film that showed color, which it was red. Also, during the 90s was when VHS players were switching to DVD players. Since DVDS were not out until 1995, Schindler’s List was a VHS. In 2013, Universal Pictures restored the movie turning it into color with the help of Steven Spielberg and the cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. The crew used the original negatives of the film to turn it into color.

They released the film in 2013 to not only celebrated Schindler’s List 20th anniversary but also Universal Pictures 100th anniversary. Spielberg, in many senses, brought the Holocaust nto America’s popular culture. The Holocaust is not something to be taken lightly, but was also not talked about. “Schindler’s List can be viewed as part of a symbolic rite of passage introducing the Holocaust into mainstream American culture” (Loshitzky 2). After reading many reviews, it is clear how Spielberg is the one who changed pop culture with his brilliant work.

What also brought this film to life was how the character were portrayed. Spielberg chose two excellent actors to play Oskar Schindler and Itzhak Stern. Schindler is a wealthy business man who finds a way to start a factory of making pots and pans ith his accountant Stern. In the beginning of the movie, Schindler is looking to profit from the Jews by making them work for him at his factory, which is got from the Nazis. Stern is the opposite, kind and has very good morals. Stern is not there to make money, but to help the Jews.

When the factory first opens, Schindler wants to celebrate with a toast, but Stern refuses to toast with him because he does not agree with Schindler’s ways of greed. As time goes on through the film, Stern stays true to himself and is always finds ways to help the Jews. Schindler sees the impact that Stern has made not only with the Jews but with is company and Schindler’s heart starts to soften. Schindler begins to barter his possessions and money for the lives of the Jews. For example, a man was working at a different factory, but wasn’t working fast enough for the owner.

The owner wanted to kill him, but instead Schindler gave Stern his lighter to barter with the list keeper of work detailed to get the man changed over to Schindler’s factory. Throughout the film many barters and trades were made to help the Jews to come to Schindler’s factory. At many times there was no speaking lines of what was happening, but the actions of what was happening were very lear and understandable. Spielberg was able to show the emotions of Schindler with no speaking lines more than once. Schindler throughout the film mostly has a poker face on, but when emotions needed to be felt it was there.

The filmgoer, observing the horrors of the liquidation of the ghetto through Oskar Schindler’s eyes, is pressed to identify with Schindler, who becomes at this point a cinematic everyman, responding as a decent human being should to the panorama of brutish cruelty unfolding in the city below the hill” (Fogel). What makes the setting so unique is where Schindler’s List was filmed. Instead of having a set back in Los Angeles, Spielberg filmed Schindler’s List in Poland and showed Schindler’s real grave site in Jerusalem.

The film is based back in the 1940s when Hitler was in charge and World War II was happening. Schindler’s factory called D. E. F, Deutsche was in Poland and it Emailwarenfabrick. It was a pots and pan factory right next to the Jewish ghetto. The Jewish ghetto was houses and apartments with families sharing rooms and living spaces. Schindler’s factory was given to him by the Nazis who took it from a Jew. Also, his new home closer to the factory was given to im the same way. This really showed how greedy and unconcerned Schindler was about the Jews and he was willing to take their things to make money.

Once the ghettos were cleaned out and the Jews were moved to a forced work camp, Schindler got to see how the Jews lived and were treated. The camps had big gates so the Jews couldn’t leave with barbwire around the whole camp. What made the movie feel so real was the setting, from the camps to Jews lived in Poland to Schindler’s grave site in Jerusalem. Spielberg did not cheapen the film with an unrealistic set but enhanced the setting by going to where it ruly happened. The consistent theme throughout Schindler’s List is the power one has, it could be through the control over the Jews or the power over saving the Jews.

In the beginning of the movie Schindler used his power to use the Jews and work for him. Schindler was a greedy man until he meets Stern who shows his a different way to use his power. Stern shows Schindler good morals which in the end Schindler used his power for good and saved 1,200 Jews by bringing them to his new factory in Czechoslovakia. “Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist who saved more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. He was loved until his death on 1974 by those he saved and their families” (Wundheiler 333).

Schindler showed great strength till the end of the movie by keeping is word and by doing what was right. Spielberg showed the lasting power Schindler had when the Jews made a ring that was given to him at the end of the film once the war ended. The ring represents a gracious thank you by making Schindler something from only possessions they had left because he saved them. Schindler was so moved by the ring that he wished he could only do more. Another example of how powerful Schindler was when they put tones on his grave site when they came to visit him many years later.

The Jews and the families that Schindler helped, went back to his grave site in Jerusalem. This confirms how powerful Schindler truly was. Schindler’s List is not a film for the weak hearted. Through the main character Oskar Schindler demonstrations how powerful one person can be and change history for just a few people. Spielberg heightens the film with realistic sets by filming Schindler’s List in Poland and Jerusalem. Also, Spielberg portrays the main characters with such difference and similar lives together and with emotions that are felt as an audience.

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