Critical Review Of The Film “Schindler’s List”
Steven Spielberg’s Schindlers List, released in 1993, brought to the screen a very tragic and real story that had been untold ever since the Holocaust. Spielberg shows his ability to tell a story in a respectful manner, while still being brutally honest. The film conveys a number of messages to its audience, but one that is most powerful is that a single man can have a profound impact. Schindlers List has been nominated and won seven Academy Awards. Spielberg didn’t film inside Auschwitz to show respect to those who lost their lives there. (Winston, 2016). The addition of colour and audio, as well as the use of black-and-white, ground this film and make it more successful. This film was not meant to be enjoyed with friends. It is intended to bring back emotions, and the elements of colour and audio help to make the story seem more real. As the colours are drained away, the feelings of freedom and happiness are also diminished. This is because the absence of colour in contrast to the abundance of color can represent a depressing setting compared to a cheerful one. Black and white is used to create a dark scene, as in the scene where Jewish women tell “bedtime tales” about the treatment of other Jews. Women in the cabin are told that they were forced to line up in a bunker and “shower”, but instead were gassed. This is true, but no one believes it at the time. The use of black-and-white in this scene shows there is no colour, hope or life. In a black-and-white scene, they begin to explain that it was just rumor. In a world of black and white, the film’s famous technique is to use colour. The film starts in color, which is a sign of hope. The candle that is lit on the Sabbath represents a period when Jewish traditions were upheld. However, as the smoke of the candle turns into train smoke (also in black-and-white), it shows the hope slowly fading. Colour represents a time when Nazism still hadn’t sucked all the color and life out of the world. This film’s opening with a Jewish custom reinforces its focus on the Jewish story, and not Nazism. The colour used in this scene is a great way to recreate the atmosphere of the Jewish people before the Nazis took control. They were full of hope and colour. Spielberg frequently uses the technique of offscreen murders or assumed murders. There are some moments in the film where the Jews are executed off screen. A female Schindler-Jew is shown watching another group led into an underground room by a male Schindler-Jew. The camera is tilted upwards to show a large chimney instead of what’s going on inside. This gives the impression that the Jews are burning alive. Spielberg uses a similar method in Jaws or Jurassic Park to move the violence offscreen. This is because, since the audience was not present to see the actual event, they can use their imaginations to create a realistic picture. This technique can also be used when ashes are falling from the sky. Although the children don’t notice, the audience does. The audience can use the information they have gathered to create a more realistic picture. This is often more disturbing than watching the murders. The film uses audio to create a connection between the Germans and the Jews. The scene in which hundreds of Jewish corpses are burned in an enormous fire is enhanced by a somber choir track. The slower music helps you focus on the disturbing scene. It is assumed that most viewers of this film are English speakers, so the audio in the film has been designed in such a way that even if they don’t understand German, they can still be alienated by the Nazis. Humans are said to be most afraid of what they do not understand. The Jews, who speak English, are subjected daily to violent yelling and orders in a foreign language that they cannot understand. The audience and both the Jewish characters are then left wondering what is going to happen next. This creates a fear that horrors will come, rather than the horrors already in place. This works well because it allows you to relate to that part of a movie. Schindlers List was not made for entertainment or enjoyment, but to educate. Spielberg uses several perspectives to examine the horrors that war brings. Spielberg did not just tell a story, he also created an artistic masterpiece that honours those in the past. This allows future generations to learn about Schindler and his bravery.