Schindlers List Term Paper

This essay has a total of 806 words and 4 pages.

Schindlers List

Schindler's List is one of the most powerful movies of all time. It presents the indelible
true story of enigmatic German businessman Oskar Schindler who becomes an unlikely saviour
of more than 1100 Jews amid the barbaric Nazi reign. A German Catholic war profiteer,
Schindler moved to Krakow in 1939 when Germany overran Poland. There he opens an
enamelware factory that, on the advice of his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern, was staffed
by Jews from the nearby forced labour camp at Plaszow. Schindler's factory prospered
though his contacts with the Nazi war machine and its local representatives, as well as
his deft skill on the black market. Then, somewhere along the way, Schindler's devotion to
self-interest was supplanted by a desire to protect as many Jews as possible. This desire
ultimately grew into "Schindler's List," which was directly responsible for sparing the
lives of 1100 Jews - a charming and sly entrepreneur, Schindler bribed and befriended the
Nazi authorities and managed to get them released from the labour camp and brought to the
safety of his munitions factory in Czechoslovakia.


Aspects of good and evil are portrayed in a number of different ways throughout the film,
"Schindler's List". The story of Schindler's List reminds us that there is hope; that
sometimes the actions of one person - one ordinary person even, for Oskar Schindler is not
the stereotypical altruistic hero - can make a difference, even in the face of mass apathy
and evil. Schindler was a womanizer, on the verge of being a drunk and held to dubious
business practices. To think that this self centred man would become known for a shining
moment of salvation for so many is almost beyond belief. Oskar Schindler is not a
humanitarian or a force for ‘good' in the typical sense. He is depicted within the film
as a man that simply found himself in a unique position and rose to the occasion. Evil on
the other hand, is epitomised throughout the film by the actions of those involved in the
Nazi regime, in particular Amon Goeth who was in charge of the forced labour camp at
Plaszow.


However, emotion is not only conveyed through the actions of the main characters. Colour
also has a significant impact on how good and evil is portrayed within the film. Perhaps
the most moving image in Steven Spielberg's epic, Schindler's List, condenses all of the
sadism of the Nazi regime into one small pictorial area. One of only four colour images in
a black and white film spanning over three hours, the little girl in a red coat, making
her way, aimless and alone through the madness and chaos, compels Schindler's attention
during the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto. Schindler identifies with the child, the
plight of the little girl touches him in a way the sheer numbers make unreal - this image
transforms the faceless mass around him into one palpable human being. This figure serves
as a moral reawakening for Schindler, his conscience consequently kicks into gear. The
poignant yet subtle musical score also adds to the haunting atmosphere created by the
film.


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