Thursday, October 28, 2010

Schindler's List (1993)

6 Million Jews were killed in Holocaust. All because one man thought that they were infecting his country. Blinded by hate, which eventually led to his downfall, his actions reverberate in World history. I think Hitler did a big favor to humanity by being the personification of pure evil and providing us with a benchmark to gauge evil men. Stephen Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” will leave you, on different levels, a different man for the story it has to say. It helps you understand how hate breeds hate that mutates to Holocausts.
Based on an adapted screenplay Steve Zaillian from Thomas Keneally’s book “Schindler’s Ark”, it’s the real life story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman, who bought Jewish prisoners from Nazi camps to work in his factory saving them from death, torture and Auschwitz. He along with his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern, with the help of the money from Jewish investors in the Jewish Ghettos starts an enamelware factory, employing hundreds of Jewish prisoners saving them from being sent to concentration camps. He makes a profit in his business owing to cheap labor since he employed Jewish prisoners. When the brutal S S Colonel Amon Garth, comes to Poland, for the purpose of setting up a prisoner camp in Krakow, things turn out much worse for the prisoners. Schindler, with his charming personality and money, bribes Amon to lend him prisoners for his new Armaments factory in his hometown of Czechoslovakia, in return for favors and valuable gifts. There’s also a brief confrontation of him with Amon, regarding his ways of dealing with the prisoners, telling him real power is the power to forgive and control is power. But Amon Garth; the sadistic son-of-a –bitch he is, refuses to amend his ways, and continues with his torture and killing spree. Schindler throws away all his fortune to bribe Nazi officials and procuring more Jewish slaves and transporting them to his plant in Czechoslovakia. In the end, when the War is over, Oskar flees to German as he may be prosecuted for running a Jewish work camp. His workers present him with a ring with a Hebrew inscription on it which means ‘One who saves a single life saves the world’. Schindler breaks down crying before them saying that he could have saved more people. But Izhak reminds him that he has already saved 1100 people and generations of Jews that will follow them. Oskar Schindler leaves for Germany with his wife. The next day a messenger informs the prisoners that they have been liberated by the Soviet forces.
Stephen Spielberg’s glowing tribute to his ancestors is a milestone labor of love. The Black and White cinematography is renders the colorless barren world that was during the War, bleached in atrocities, crimes and millions of lives. It was a right choice because it gives a periodic feel to it and narrows the audience attention more into the atrocities of war and the brutal acts of Genocide. The Girl in Red , the only “colored” character In the movie, according to Spielberg, represents the blood that was being spilled in Europe by the Nazi’s and how the supreme powers of the world stood there doing anything even though it was crystal clear what was going on in Europe. It’s a giant Red blot in the history of Humanity, referring to not only the blood spilled but also the error in judgment of the powerful Nations who could have prevented it. Janusz Kaminski, a frequent collaborator of Spielberg, won an Oscar for his work which he deserved. The Screenplay by Steve Zaillian efficiently capture, rather than sticking on to the main plot, the horror of Holocaust by bringing in notorious elements like Auschwitz, Gas chambers etc. to illustrate a full scale depiction of the Genocide. John Williams background score, comprised of Jewish sermons and some classic music recaptures the mood of the era.
I think if there was a time machine to go back in time and make Hitler watch this movie before he started butchering people, help him understand the true extent of his actions, maybe he would have abstained from committing the crime of the Century. Hell who knows!


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