Schindler’s List: Pulling at Heart Strings

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For my film/literature class, I was tasked to quickly recap my feelings after watching Schindler’s List for the first time. I ended up tying the movie to an episode of Seinfeld. Enjoy.   

I’ve always wanted to watch Schindler’s List ever since I first saw the episode of Seinfeld titled The Raincoats, where Jerry Seinfeld’s parents were outraged to find out he was “making out” during the movie. Now that I’ve finally seen the movie for myself, I can see why his parents were so appalled of Jerry’s actions, and even I want to ask him the same thing his mother asked him: “How could you?!”

The movie is so appropriately depressing, and it’s not exactly a movie you’d watch if you were looking for a fun date night. Sure the movie wasn’t completely devoid of humor, but only one or two dark jokes were the only exceptions. The film was even terrifying at times, especially during the shower scene with the Jewish women walking to what they suspected was their death.

I could name several scenes where an immense feeling of emotion came over me, including the scene where the old man who wasn’t efficient enough to work was murdered on the street, or the shot of the little boy hiding in the latrine. The movie was set up for you to feel some of the pain these people went through.

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From a theatrical standpoint, I loved the film’s use of color, or more specifically, the lack thereof. The black and white aesthetic made the film appropriately grim. The girl in the red coat became iconic, and I also loved the last scene of the “Schindler Jews” and their descendants visiting Schindler’s grave years after the end of the war.

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The movie could have ended in black and white, but to represent the passage of time, and maybe even to say “this is a brighter future,” the scene was done in full color.

In addition to that, the movie did an excellent job of representing the passage of time. I didn’t notice it at first until one of my classsmates pointed it out, but Amon Goeth got fatter as the movie went on. That and Schindler’s transition of his love for money to the love for his workers was subtly done and a great way to show characters changing and evolving from what they were, to what they ultimately became.

I also wasn’t aware that Liam Neeson, one of my most respected actors was the main character, Oskar Schindler. It was a fun surprise to see him in the movie I’ve been anticipating to watch all semester, and he did a fantastic job as Schindler.

Schindler’s List was executed flawlessly. It wasn’t disrespectful or appalling in anyway, as it delivered what seemed to be an authentic recreation of a tragic event. It takes you on what seemed to almost be a documentary walkthrough of the Holocaust. Hoping to make viewers feel for the suffering Jews, Schindler’s List was a puppeteer of heart strings.

 

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