Film Analysis: Schindler's List Term Paper

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¶ … film "Schindler's List," directed by Stephen Spielberg, in 1993. SCHINDLER'S LIST

This film is much more than just a movie to entertain. It is a film that enlightens the viewer, and tells a true story of great strength and courage. The camera work is jerky at times, reminiscent of "cinema verite," and at other times it is almost stark, with alternating shadow and light, expressing the starkness of the Jews lives as they came under Nazi rule. The use of camera angles, dark lighting, and the eerie musical score all set the somber mood for the film, and add to its overall impact. Spielberg understands how all the components of a film, from writing to lighting, come together to create the whole.

The film is memorable for several reasons. First, it tells the story of an ordinary man, who rises to greatness when it is necessary. Schindler is an unlikely hero; he is a womanizer, a member of the Nazi party, and an astute businessman. At first, he saves Jews simply because they are necessary for his


We see it as nothing more than a business decision. However, as the movie goes on, Schindler sees what is happening all around him, and he does not like it, or agree with it. He saves over 1,000 Jews, but loses his business in the end, and leaves Germany almost penniless.
The film also follows a Nazi soldier, as he completes his missions - eradicating Jews. Seeing the two main characters side-by-side helps contrast them, but also allows us to see them both as humans, no matter what we want to believe about them.

Personally, I found the film very difficult to watch. I understand what atrocities took place during World War II, and they are nothing but shocking. I have read many equally disturbing books, but I think it is more difficult to watch it, than to read it. I think the film made an impact on me…

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Critics, foundations, and a long list of professionals highly acclaim this film. They believe the film is a masterpiece of direction, storytelling, and filming. Spielberg uses black and white to give the feeling of a documentary, except at the beginning and the end. I believe these sections of color let us know what we are going to see really happened, and then let us know we are back in "reality." He also uses tiny bits of added color to reflect horror and fear. He used bright red on the child in the red coat to make her stand out, and demonstrate how inhuman it was for a child to watch the even more inhuman executions in the streets.

The film received numerous awards, including these 1993 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. It is truly a difficult film to watch, but a film that should be seen by everyone, to help understand the horrors of World War II Jewish persecution.

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