The Reel Review
This is Stephen Spielberg’s iconic, Oscar-winning tale about Oskar Schindler, the German businessman credited with saving 1200 Jews in Krakow during the Holocaust, the period from 1941-45 when Nazis killed six million Jews in the worst act of genocide in world history.
Filmed in black and white to give it a timelessness, the film traces the Nazi seizure of Jewish property in Poland and the containment of Krakow’s Jews within a 16 square block ghetto in the city. Liam Neeson’s impassioned portrait of the opportunistic businessman turned humanitarian is a career defining performance, aided by strong performances from Ben Kingsley as his clever accountant who compiled the list of Jews he would later save from near certain death, and Ralph Fiennes as Nazi SS officer Amon Göeth.
Spielberg presents a poignant humanization of the horrors of Holocaust, alongside a hauntingly iconic Oscar-winning score from John Williams and Itzhak Perlman. This is one of the most impactful films in cinematic history about one of the most horrific moments in world history.
• Steven Spielberg was inspired to make Schindler’s List after seeing the rise of Neo Nazism and Holocaust deniers in the early 1990s.
• Spielberg says he got the idea for the little girl in the red coat from Audrey Hepburn during filming of her final movie, Always. She told him of seeing a similarly dressed child while others were loaded onto trains in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.
• Schindler’s enamel pot making factory in Krakow is now a museum. Schindler is the only member of the Nazi Party buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.