I. stellar performances of Liam Neeson and Ben


Many cinematic
works have portrayed the evil of holocaust that led to the loss of thousands of
lives during the Second World War at the brutality of the Nazis. It needs to be
reckoned that both the genres of fiction and non-fiction films have portrayed
the historic occurrence in different ways that have successfully reached out to
the audience. Steven Spielberg’s seminal cinematic work, Schindler’s List, can be described as one of the very best
cinematic endeavors in the history of cinema. The entire work has been
complemented by the stellar performances of Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley. The
film about holocaust was made in the country of the United States of America,
and Universal Pictures went on to distribute the film across the entire globe.
The famous creative artist, Steven Zaillian, went on to write the screenplay of
this cinematic work. The film is a cinematic adaptation of the literary work, Schindler’s Ark, penned by the literary
artist, Thomas Keneally. Beyond any doubt, this cinematic endeavor goes on to
stir the audience to the very core of the hearts owing to the quintessence of
aesthetic portrayal and emotional appeal of the narrative. The filmic narrative
spans for 184 minutes, and creates utmost emotional impact on the minds of the
audience with the sheer perfection of cinematic portrayal and the content. Even
after so many years of the initial theatrical release in the year 1993, this
cinematic work has remained extremely popular among the audience.

in the film

The filmmaker
develops the titular character of Oskar Schindler all through the filmic
narrative to bring out the impact of the holocaust on the human psyche. Toward
the inception of the film, the audience sees how the male protagonist is bent
upon making profit from his business venture, while he engages in a life of
materialism and grandeur. Schindler transforms from being a selfish businessman
with Nazi ideology to one who braves all the odds coming in his way to save as
many lives of hapless Jews as possible. Schindler having started with the aim
of extracting utmost profit by employing the workers at lower wages goes on to
plan against the Nazi authorities to save Jews losing all his money in the
process. He succeeds in saving eleven hundred Jews by the end of the war.

Spielberg highlights
the relationship between the male protagonist and Itzhak Stern, his Jewish
accountant, played by Ben Kingsley. The filmmaker is successful in developing
the relationship between these two characters with utmost prowess and affective
appeal for the audience. Stern is the only person who comprehends the emotions
and motives that drive a greedy man like Schindler to engage in the risky
affair of saving the lives of so many Jews by duping the Nazis for so long. The
narrative trajectory of the film explores the relationship between the
characters, and also the experiences that ignite the higher motives in Oskar Schindler.
The protagonist finally transforms into a selfless heroic character by the end
of the film, having started off as a casual profiteer. There can be no denial
of the fact that the transformation of the male protagonist as a character is
influenced by his relationship with Stern. Stern can be described as the catalytic
force that guides the selfish and materialistic man to become someone who does
not care about money or position anymore. Oskar Schindler’s personal
transformation gets juxtaposed with the imagery showing the unfamiliar faces of
Jewish prisoners who are on the receiving end of brutality and savagery that
get inflicted by the Nazis. The director leaves no stone unturned to bring out
the pain and suffering of the hapless Jews who were made to live in the ghetto
and then in the concentration camps.

Cinematic Techniques

The film goes on
to exude the use of perfect cinematic techniques that bring out the affective
appeal of the narrative. The excellent cinematographic work communicates with
the audience with utmost effectiveness. Janusz Kaminiski’s appealing
black-and-white cinematography also portrays the character of Oskar Schindler
as a mesh of supreme confidence and opportunism, while this is contrasted to
the surmounting hardships and imminent jeopardy of the Jewish people. Toward
the beginning, when Schindler takes over the kitchenware factory and occupies
this apartment from where an affluent Jewish family has been evicted by the
Nazis, he does not come across to be a heroic character. The director
juxtaposes the grandeur and pomp encompassing Schindler’s lifestyle, while the
Jewish people are sent to the Cracow ghetto. When the ghetto gets evacuated,
these Jews are sent to Plaszow that is overseen by Amon Goeth, a cruel,
cold-hearted SS commandant. Oskar shows no sign of empathy toward the fate of
the thousands of Jews toward the first part of the film, and is only bent on
making profit for himself through his business.

Among the
various exceptional elements that catapult the cinematic work to perfection,
the editing by Michael Kahn should be mentioned discreetly. The film portrays
the perfect balance between dramatic elements and realism. Moreover, the background
score composed by John Williams constitutes the soul of the film as the music
sets up the somber mood. The violin solos leaves a lasting impression on the
audience augmenting the affective impact of the entire film. It would be
correct to say that the director leaves no stone unturned to reach out to the
spectators, and make the filmic text a memorable one that would be cherished
for a long time. He uses the cinematic techniques to bring out the thematic
content of the film with effectiveness. The film uses colored scenes only when
the Jews saved by Schindler come to pay their respects to the grave of Oskar
Schindler. The entire narrative evokes the emotions of the audience, and makes
them ponder about the film even long after having finished watching the

Depiction of

One can refer to
Alain Resnais’ cinematic work, Night and
Fog that depicts the horrors of the holocaust. This seminal documentary
film portrays the picture of the concentration camps in front of the avid
audience. Also, this cinematic work uses real footage to show the physical
condition of the Jews during the time of their captivity in the camps. Now, one
can understand that the facts that are shown in this documentary film are
echoed in the fictional representation in the contextual film by Spielberg. Also,
the story of Oskar Schindler is a real one, and the film should be credited for
representing true occurrences on the screen with utmost prowess and accuracy. As
such, it goes beyond any doubt that this film by Spielberg can be considered a
valid socio-historic commentary and representation that brings a very
significant chapter of the holocaust on the large screen.


It would be
correct to end by saying that the film has remained very popular even after so
many years of its initial theatrical release owing to the cinematic genius
exuded by the filmmaker. The content stirs the audience to the innermost core
of their hearts, and the film uses the best techniques to bring life to the
various characters. What resonates in the minds of the audience is the message
of hope that transcends the challenges that thwart the lives and wellbeing of
common people in times of war. Oskar Schindler rises above all with his
character development as an epitomic figure of hope and resolution. He braves
all the odds to save the innocent lives that could have been taken otherwise. The
film is a tribute to the great deeds of Schindler. The cinematic work has
attained timeless appeal and universal acclaim. In a world of pain and
haplessness, Spielberg brings out the need and importance of hope for treading
on the path of life.