Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s list, is worth the watch. The film brings you back to 1939 to the Jewish ghetto, whilst nazi command was at its pinnacle. Based in Krakow, Poland during the holocaust, the film takes you through a gruesome, cinematic experience showing a close to realistic perspective to world war two and the holocaust. Throughout the film contrast is shown in many ways, giving it meaningful layers to the story. one way Steven Spielberg displayed contrast was in the relationship between Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson) and Amon goeth (played by Ralph Fiennes).

The characters in Schindler’s list allow the watcher to build and even greater understanding of the film. This is shown in the character Amon Geoth, a murderous, broken hearted nazi extremist, who is in control of one of the multiple concentration camps. He is numb to death, and is known to shoot and kill for his own dominance. Although both Amon and Schindler are war criminals, Amon is a total contrast to Schindler. Schindler may be a criminal for taking advantage of the jewish population, but from the start of the film you can see there is a difference in attitude between the two, when it comes to the jewish captives. This begins to show in his voice when he said “hey, hey, what are you doing?! These are my workers; they should be on my train!”, schindler slowly grows a sympathy and wants to help.                                                                  

Schindler was linked to murders, although never personally harmed any of the jews. One of the scenes in the beginning of the film shows guards under the command of schindler killing jewish workers at the slightest fault. The scene jolts you back into your seat, and it puts you in perspective of the magnitude of each death. Although, this is only the first of many deaths. Amon however, was displayed as a killer from the start. One of amon’s first scenes when the concentration camp is being built, and a jewish lady who claimed to be a qualified engineer, speaks out about a structural problem in the frame of the building, she is shot publicly by amon and her advice is ignored. Spielberg is repeatedly showing scenes of slaughters, almost rubbing in the brutality of the holocaust.

Spielberg uses colour against the black and white at certain places throughout the film to bring emphasis. He uses this technique to move your eyes towards the coloured object. This technique is used particularly well during the scene featuring the girl in red, Schindler sees a girl in a red gown, walking with the jewish captives. Spielberg deliberately shows the girl in real life colour to contrast with the black and white that dominates the film. The girl in red features again, but to the anguish of Schindler the girl in red is among many of those who were slaughtered. This is a scene which changes the route of the story to reveal Schindler’s decent sides, and subsequently help captives out of the concentration camp controlled by amon goeth.

Another time spielberg displays his mastery as a director is at the beginning of the film. The film opens with a Sabbath ceremony and is all in colour. A candle is lit, and while the flame stays in color, the rest of the world fades to black and white. That’s Spielberg’s way of moving us from a time before Nazism sucked the colour out of the world and transitioning into the darkness of Nazi Germany. For the Jewish people, lighting the candle represents their relationship with God in observing the commandment to keep the Sabbath. The lighting of the candle in the first scene shows that Spielberg wants to start out with a strong representation of the Jewish faith. This is an obvious statement that this is war story, not from the nazi perspective, not from the allies perspective, but from the jewish perspective.

From the characters to the film techniques used, Steven spielberg does not disappoint. The film is well planned and links together, giving the watcher a emotional roller coaster that locks you into the film as it takes you with. Spielberg portrays the characters in such detail, they keep the watcher from losing focus throughout the film. As well as the characters, spielberg succeeded in harnessing all elements of the film, such as colour, characters, culture and story. This film was an experience to remember, its the type of movie you’d watch more that once. To conclude, the film schindler’s list is definitely worth the watch.

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  1. Mention the setting is Krakow, Poland

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  2. Check the background information – Oskar has the factory, the Nazis forced the Jews from their homes in to the ghettos, and from there in to the camps.

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