Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Relase Date: 4 Feb 1994
Director: Steven Spielberg
Runtime: 3h 15min
Movie Bio : “Schindler’s List” is described as a film about the Holocaust, but the Holocaust supplies the field for the story, rather than the subject. The film is really two parallel character studies–one of a con man, the other of a psychopath. Oskar Schindler, who swindles the Third Reich, and Amon Goeth, who represents its pure evil, are men created by the opportunities of war.
The film has been an easy target for those who find Spielberg’s approach too upbeat or “commercial,” or condemn him for converting Holocaust sources into a well-told story. But every artist must work in his medium, and the medium of film does not exist unless there is an audience between the projector and the screen. Claude Lanzmann made a more profound film about the Holocaust in “Shoah,” but few were willing to sit through its nine hours. Spielberg’s unique ability in his serious films has been to join artistry with popularity–to say what he wants to say in a way that millions of people want to hear.
In telling their stories, Steven Spielberg found a way to approach the Holocaust, which is a subject too vast and tragic to be encompassed in any reasonable way by fiction. In the ruins of the saddest story of the century, he found, not a happy ending, but at least one affirming that resistance to evil is possible and can succeed. In the face of the Nazi charnel houses, it is a statement that has to be made, or we sink into despair.
Schindler had no success in business before or after the war, but used its cover to run factories that saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews. (Technically, the factories were failures, too, but that was his plan: “If this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I’ll be very unhappy.”) Goeth was executed after the war, which he used as a cover for his homicidal pathology.