Incredibly, incredibly well made film.
For someone who’s seen surprisingly many holocaust films, this one tops them all.
It’s more vivid. More real.
It feels more…
Absolutely perfect for what it set out to do.
Wow. Incredible. Groundbreaking. Truthful and factual.
A confession: I really appreciate Holocaust films. Something about the need to reflect on a major historic event brings out some of the best story telling in Hollywood. And the subject matter itself is almost always amazing – the human struggle for power and survival – the elemental question of this film is “What’s a life worth?”
A basic overview: This guy, Oskar Schindler, starts out the film with the goal of making as much money as quickly as possible. And he does. Money, alcohol, girls, power – he has it all. He’s got everything, except for respect and love.
By the end of the film he has rescued over 1000 Jews and has both love and respect from them and for them.
One of the things that sets this film apart from others like it – and even mainstream cinema as a whole – is the incredible balance between compressed “film time” and real-time. No one would watch a film if it was the recording of a real event in real-time (the Holocaust was years long) so film time gives us a sense of the passing of time and only allows for the most important things to be shown in real-time. Spielberg discovered the truest parts of this story and made us feel as though we have lived through this with Schindler – the passing of time handled in a way that allowed for time gaps to be understood without losing the power of the growing tragedy.
Ben Kingsley has a major role throughout the film and was the stand out performance. This was in the context of many wonderful performances by the entire cast.
If you haven’t seen this film (as I had not), make some time to watch and discuss.
It’s a hard story truly worth experiencing.