Sunday, November 2, 2014

Schindler's List

Movie Name: Schindler's List
Year of Release: 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagall, Embeth Davidtz, Mark Ivanir, Malgorzata Gebel
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 10

After the huge success of "Jurassic Park", director Steven Spielberg premiered another film in 1993, one that has become a modern classic, "Schindler's List", which enabled him a triumphant win at the Academy Awards (the film won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture and Director). The film follows the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman and a member of the Nazi party, who after witnessing the plight and death of Jewish people in Auschwitz (in the concentration camps), manages to quietly save a growing number of them through his factory (by employing them as essential workers).
"Schindler's List" is based on the book by Thomas Keneally and focuses on a particular story during the Holocaust. The screenplay by Steven Zaillian, manages to simultaneously depict the suffering of millions, but simultaneously focus on the story of some of the individuals that were saved by Schindler. It also gives Schindler a human face, depicting him as a flawed individual, one with a conscience and a sense of guilt and despair (and a womanizer). Steven Spielberg creates with this film a visual poem, one that has heart, but also intelligence and restraint (the director doesn't fall prey of his need to over dramatize). Aesthetically the film is stunning, benefiting from the cinematography from Janusz Kaminski (the usual collaborator of the director). The inspiration from the work of Polish director Andrzej Wajda is felt, but the language of Spielberg is his own, and that comes across in every frame of this beautiful film. The performances from Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes are indelible (particularly Fiennes' who truly deserved an Academy Award for his phenomenal work). A stunning film!