20th October 2017

Reading log #2

Anton Cousins

Text title: Schindler’s List

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Text type: Visual

Schindler’s list is known as movie on the holocaust, although it is really just a story based during the holocaust, rather than the subject. It follows the story of Oskar Schindler, a successful con man who used the cloak of world war II to his advantage. On the other hand, the psychopathic Amon Goeth, who’s in charge of one of the Jewish concentration camps, is bloodthirsty man who doesn’t care much about human life. Oskar Schindler is appalled by the brutality of the nazi ways so he slowly lets his moral take over, leading him to save hundreds of Jews from an inevitable and horrible death. To accomplish such an achievement he used the money he earned from the war to create factories, but they weren’t successful per say. Technically, the factories were failures, but that was his plan: “If this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I’ll be very unhappy.” It became a place for the thousand or so Jews to live and work under the mask of being useful to the war, rather than being executed.

A theme that shows up multiple times is the contrast between good and evil, and the grey zone between the two. As Goeth obviously takes the role of evil, Schindler, who starts as an ambitious man with intentions for making money off those who are less fortunate, slowly changes to become a heroic man. Schindler showed tremendous courage in the face of evil, quietly and cleverly taking advantage of his position in the nazi rank, to save lives.

Socially and culturally we see a parallel of the downgrading of certain cultures, religions, colour of skin or gender, this shows up in many areas of society. Many wars if not most of them, politically and historically, has been influenced by the inequality of people’s views and the fight to be superior. With the alienation of opposing groups, it is easier to inflict horrible actions to another human being, and allowing it to be justified. Throughout history this has been repeated multiple times, from black slavery, the burning of witches to the near elimination of some indigenous groups of people.

Throughout history there’s been unfairness and fights in the name of religion and other beliefs, which separates people into the illusion of being “more or less worthy.” This story may influence the up and coming generations to step beyond this kind of brutality and create more equality and peace in the world.

The brutality of the story is heartbreaking. To do the things that Schindler did, risking his own life for those who were deemed worthless to the state is beyond words. I can’t imagine what it would be like to risk everything in such a challenging era. It is inspiring to know that one man can make such a difference

I recommend this story because it gives a realistic view of the holocaust and the horrors within it. Although it’s not for the fainthearted as the graphic scenes can be quite distressing, it definitely takes you out of your comfort zone. It also has a sense of victory and a true strength of spirit, since one man manages to save so many in a time of such hatred and death.

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