Schindler’s List (1993)

There are some movies which you know you really have to see, but somehow never had. The reason I didn’t watch Schindler’s List before was mainly because of its heavy subject matter and it’s length. Before you watch it you already know it’s going to be tough to watch and that you won’t be feeling very happy afterwards. It might have taken some years, but now I finally have seen it and what an amazing piece of cinema it is.

Schindler’s list is about the true story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who wants to make a fortune during the Second World War. He’s very close to the nazis and knows how to become friends with various important people in the army. This allows him to set up a factory. When he hears Jews are the cheapest workforce he decides to get a whole lot of them out of the ghetto of Warsaw. As the war progresses he slowly finds out what happens to the Jews in the concentration camps and starts to care more for them, which means he has to walk a fine line between being friends with the nazis and following his own agenda.

Spielberg really has delivered one of his masterpieces with Schindler’s List. The way that it is shot is beautiful. Most of the movie is in black and white, but some scenes have a color added to it, like the opening scene or a scene in the ghetto where the red jacket of a little girl makes her stand out. The way the sets look, like that Warsaw ghetto is impressive (after having seen the documentary A Film Unfinshed a while ago).

Of course a movie comes alive through its story and the way the characters are played by the actors. Liam Neeson is very good as Oskar Schindler, a character who is greedy and you really won’t like through a bit part of the movie, but Neeson slowly manages to show what is going on under his skin. Ben Kingsley plays Itzhak Stern, who is the bookkeeper for Schindler and makes him a wise, but very scared individual who knows that any day could be his last. Ralph Fiennes however stands out most as the nazi Amon Goeth. Goeth is an unpredictable and very scary character who will randomly shoot people. You never know if he’s on to you or if he can be trusted. That tension is constantly present when dealing with Schindler and Fiennes makes him frightening, but also shows that within this horrible man there is a lot of insecurity.

Schindler’s List is an important document about the things that happened during the Second World War. With the final shots Spielberg manages to pull the movie into reality, making it something you will not forget.

23 thoughts on “Schindler’s List (1993)

  1. Glad that you finally watched this and reviewed it. I avoided it for so long and finally watched it. I almost pressed “stop” 3 times in the film during moments that just struck me.

    Was glad to read that Robin Williams visited Spielberg on set several times during filming and provided free comedy shows in order to lighten everyone’s hearts and moods!

  2. I really think this is still Neeson’s best role. I haven’t seen this in a while but I remember being really affected by this. That red jacket scene was astounding, I was practically bawling watching that one.

  3. Such an essential film – both Neeson and Feinnes are towering in their respective roles in this. I recently watched a doco about the daughter of Amon Goeth meeting with one of the survivors of his death camp – the daughter of one of the people portrayed in the film – and it was truly harrowing stuff.

    This film should be essential viewing in schools, if only to show kids what happened back when evil rose up in the world.

    • Wow, what was that documentary called? Would be interesting in seeing that.

      Yes, as there aren’t many survivors left anymore because of their age it is necessary that this movie is watched. When I was in school a holocaust survivor came to our school and told he stories and showed us the tattoo they had given him. It’s something you don’t forget.

  4. This is my second favourite movie ever. I watched it again last night and it’s just such an amazing masterpiece. Ralph Fiennes’ performance as Amon Goeth is my favourite performance of all-time, also. He is so scary. Liam Neeson is great, also.

    I’ll always love this movie. I thought it would be quite boring because of it’s run-time when I first saw it, but I was so wrong. It’s an essential piece of cinema. Glad you liked it!

  5. Pingback: » Movie Review – Schindlers’ List Fernby Films

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