30th October 2017

Reading Log #5 Schindlers List

AS 90854 Reading Record Sheet – Reading Log #5

Ronan Thompson

Schindler’s list – Steven Spielberg


Schindler’s list

Schindler’s List is a 1993 drama/history film, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film is an extraordinary and intriguing piece of cinematography, which depicts the horrors of being Jewish in Nazi Germany. The film illustrates the life of the businessman, Oskar Schindler, in the uprising of world war 2. He moves to Krakow, Germany, attempting to make his fortune through the production of ammunition and enamelware. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his new company with Jewish workers typically for pragmatic purposes. But as the Nazi’s begin the extermination of any Jewish adherents, Schindler proposes protection of his factory workers. An action too rare at the time of the ghetto, as the war moves on he starts to realize the severity of the Nazi’s actions and that in doing so, he saving thousands of innocent lives.

Some of the themes addressed are Loyalty and the power of one.  The power of one is portrayed through Schindler’s efforts to save Jewish lives. In the final part of the film, Schindler is presented with a ring, resembling his contribution to the protection of the jews and the impression he made on their grave situation. Stern who was Schindler’s industrial account made an invaluable impact on his conscience towards the jews. In this event, Schindler determines to change Goeth, the Nazi party leaders, state of mind and look humanly towards the jews. This action made a small difference in goeth’s attempt to dehumanize the jews. We see this when the leader lets a German boy live despite his past belligerent intentions. It was Schindler, a fortune seeker who made the difference between the complete degrade of jews and their live continuing with identity.

Loyalty is shown through the jews persistence to survive in unity. Throughout the film, it is expressed that the nazis behold a strong animus against the Jewish religion. A result of this is the liquidation of the ghetto where thousands of Jews were killed in the attempt to diminish any adherents. It is prominently seen through the workers and their relationships, the shared circumstances cause them to come together and act like a family. This is strongly seen with factory workers Chaja and Danka Dresner. Chaja, during the liquidation of the ghetto, sacrifices her own safety for her daughter and lets Danka have the last space in the hideout. Danka shows her loyalty soon after by running out to find her mother, giving up her supposed safe space in the hideout. The two Dresner’s consistently watch out for each other throughout the film.

Schindler’s list is a true example of humankind. Portraying the innate need we have to gain power and its corruption, usually depressed by society and its laws. This lust is only truly seen in the modern world through the corrupt businessman and the upper class that sit at the top of the chain of wealth. Driven by the true greed for money, wealth and most of all power over all others. It is this power that can oppress other human beings or in such terms “dehumanize” an idea seen in a majority of Schindler’s list. The relationship between, Amon and the Jews. Is a protruding example of the way that power can degrade one another into poverty and lower status. Throughout the film we witness Amon condemn a large amount of Jewish, through harsh and inhumane killings. A tempestuous action contributing to the dominance embezzled by the Nazi party. It these cruel and ruthless killings that strike fear into the hearts of the jews, giving the Nazis the upper hand. Depriving the jews of all rights as human and leaving them as “scum”. This is a common tactic to obtain power, perceived in history and can still be seen in modern societal affairs. Schindler’s list truly displays the issues and effects of world war 2 on humankind. Hitler, who was a German nationalist and leader of the Nazi party came to power in 1939 when he initiated world 2 by invading Poland and became dictator between 1932 – 1945. It was Hitler’s idea of a perfect race, blue eyes, blonde hair and German. Excluding all other religions and races to be deceased. That brings on his thirst for dominance, being a dictator and nationalist. Germany was all he cared about, a very one-sided view. Leading to a very high statistic of deaths.

Teaching to us about the capabilities of the human mind and its ability to good and bad. In the world, we live in today the concept of status is more relevant than ever. We perceive the chain of wealth in our everyday lives, with poverty existing in high quantities and its opposing candidate “wealth” prevailing greatly. It is the power of the poor that keeps the wealthy on top, continuing the never-ending cycle of difference in living styles and life. Bringing into play “1st world, 2nd world and 3rd world countries”. Each world living with their own problems and benefits.

Schindlers list details this thought that is power really that great? It gives you control, money and dominance. But love’s undefinable, a concept only really achieved by ones without the coinciding thought of greed.

The film successfully portrays and captures meaningful concepts such as the relationship between the wealth of the Nazi’s and beggary of the Jewish folk, and the power embezzled by the Nazis. The film connects these concepts whilst retaining a captivating plot line. Similarly, the film details dramatic events which grip the audience’s attention: the burning of the Jews, Amons cruel and lifeless killings in the ghetto and the Jews race to freedom.

Even though Schindler’s List is set in this monochrome like style, the audience is kept captivated by tone, cinematography and the exquisite music composition. Overall, the film portrays the horrors that the Jews suffered at the hand of the Nazis and the actions of a businessman who attempted to make a difference. Even though he was first seen as an egotistical man it was he that saved a thousand Jews and Schindler who gave light in a time of darkness. The movie is an exceptional representation of cinematography and is definitely worth the watch, giving insight into the atrocity of the Holocaust and the great saying; the Holocaust was a time of, “life without light”.

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About Ronan

I was born a gangster, ya know.