Released in 1993, Schindler’s List tells the story of Oskar Schindler who rescues more than a thousand Polish-Jewish people from the pangs of Holocaust. It falls in the genre of historical fiction where real people and places are involved but employs fictionalized scenes and dialogues. The film was shot for about 10 weeks. It stars L. Neeson as Oskar Schindler, R. Fiennes as SS captain Amon Goeth and B. Kingsley as Itzhak Stern. Made at a budget of $22 million, the film grossed $321.2 million worldwide and earned twelve Oscar nods and won seven, including Best Picture award.
The story is set during the World War II period when the Nazi Part was in power in Germany. The German soldier, the SS had driven out the local Jews in Poland and had thrown them into the Krakow Ghetto. They were mistreated, made to do menial jobs, raped, killed for pleasure. Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi Party, bribed high-ranking Nazi officials and soldiers to acquire a factory to produce enamelware and employed the local Jews, owing to their cheap labor cost, at his factory. Referring to the Nazi’s rise to power and their treatment of the Jews, Hitler’s idea of the master race must be touched upon while one writes on this film.
The film was shot in black and white and in the manner of a documentary film. The budget of the film reflects that no fancy paraphernalias were used to make the film and was shot mostly in handheld cameras. Steven Spielberg, the director, claimed that the reason behind shooting it the film in black and white was to give it a documentary feel, one comparable to the Italian Neo-realists and German Expressionists films. The film also won the Academy Award for best Cinematography and production design.
Themes and motifs
The film is replete with visual symbols, the most important one being the girl in the red jacket, the only color that one will find in this black and white movie. Spielberg claimed that this was done to present the stark reality of the situation. That is to say, that the treatment of the Jews under the Nazi regime was as blatant as the girl in the red jacket walking down the street, whose body Oskar Schindler will later come across in the move. Moreover, the black and white style was, according to Spielberg was a metaphor for holocaust; he said that for him life is colorful and the black and white is used to present the dark times.
Before you embark to write on this, make sure that you have seen the movie. It is one of the brilliant movies ever made. Try to include enough historical details that will set the background for your essay, so that readers can understand the terror of that time. Themes and symbolism give a more literary touch to your paper. If you have and if you want to, you can also write about how well it had been adapted from the book.