Monday, March 7, 2011

Epic #3 - Schindler's List (1993)

Oh, how do I even talk about Schindler's List? It's a Stephen Speilberg film based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, and want to emphasize true story here, a member of the Nazi party during World War II who ran a factory run by the forced labor of the Jews. Eventually he realizes that he has to save people from certain death, and he uses his huge amount of wealth to get a bunch of people into his own separate camp and factory, where no one gets killed. That's what the "List" in the title refers to - Schindler's List of "essential workers" he needed for his factory; His list of people who were saved. He saves more than eleven hundred people in the end, and dies penniless. The movie stars Liam Neeson as Schindler and the guy who plays Voldemort as a Nazi. It was Stephen Speilberg's first really mature movie, and it won seven Oscars, including best picture.

I really don't even know what to say about this movie. There just aren't any words for it. It's the Holocaust and it's heroism and it's just...It's very good. It's got a good script and very, very powerful imagery. Incredibly powerful. It's got a ton of characters, but they don't get lost in the size of the movie. It's got very good music, but it's composed by John Williams, so there's no surprise there. It's filmed mostly in black and white, except for a few key objects (Oh, red sweater girl...), which works really well. It's just such a good movie.

I didn't actually cry though. I'm slightly worried that there might be something wrong with me because of this, but I'm going to put that aside for the moment. It's a very emotional movie throughout the whole thing. I'll definitely watch it again, but not for a very, very long time. That's alright though - I'm pretty sure it'll stick with me for a while. For me the worst part (emotionally) is the end. The war is over and a lot of people are alive, but Schindler just breaks down because he could have done so much more. He could have sold things and saved just ten more people from dying, or eleven, or twelve. That many people would be alive if he had done a little bit more. It was for me really tragic to think of that after all we'd seen of people being saved.
The story itself is an incredible story. This man who's so greedy and such a pig turns into a hero because that is the right thing, it was what he needed to do. Before he started saving people money was so important to him, but he gives that up so people can live. He's not what we view as a god person, quite the opposite in fact, but he turns out to be a hero. You can't make this kind of stuff up. Schindler's List isn't exactly an uplifting movie, but at the same time it's wonderful to see the kind of heroism that people are capable of, even the people you wouldn't expect to be heroes. Schindler's List recognizes both the evil and the incredible good in people, and that is terrific. This movie is wonderful, it's only possible fault being that its title is incredibly hard to type.

This is not an easy movie to watch. It's definitely a very very good movie, and an accurate portrayal of the Holocaust, and it definitely needs to exist, there should be a movie like this. It's just so hard to watch it . Knowing that all this happened, that somehow the Holocaust really happened and no one did anything is hard. This happened, and that's why this movie needs to be around, not only to remember the heroism of this man, but also to remember the villainy of other men. To remember what was done and to not let it be done again. To appreciate what was done about it, and the people who fought. That's what movies can do. That kind of thing is why I'm writing this blog. That is why movies are awesome.

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