Which film saved Steven Spielberg
Oskar Schindler sits on horseback on a hill and watches the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. Screams can be heard everywhere and the barking of German soldiers, machine gun salvos rattle, people are shot. Schindler looks shocked, but we still don't know why. The businessman of German descent, played by Liam Neeson, lets Jewish workers toil for himself in his enamel factory. They cost him the least. Is he appalled because his workforce is murdered or sent to camps? Or because he's just witnessing a crime against humanity?
One could also think that at first he was just an observer. Just like Steven Spielberg, the director of "Schindler's List", who films this scene almost frightened, as if from the perspective of someone who happens to pass by and whose eye falls unprepared for the horror. This film is now coming back to German cinemas for Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th.
You can grasp how oppressive the shooting was
Sometimes Spielberg says that he - like most of the team - was barely able to look when he was making the film. You can see that in the pictures. The scene in the Plaszow forced labor camp, in which the SS butcher Amon Göth rules, played by Ralph Fiennes, is such a moment. A selection in the camp: Naked people are chased across the camp, past SS "doctors" who differentiate between those who are "fit for work" and those who are deported directly to Auschwitz. The camera seems to panic itself, as if it hardly knows what to do with itself. What to film and how? You can feel how oppressive the work for Spielberg must have been.
At this point in the film, Schindler began to bribe officers and civil servants on a large scale and to help Jews with the help of his Jewish accountant, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), who was also interned. Allegedly because they are doing "war important" work in his Cracow factory - this is how Schindler presents himself to the SS as an opportunistic war profiteer. In truth, because he wants to save her.
Finally, a third central scene in the film takes place in Auschwitz. A group of women whom Schindler bought from Göth "accidentally" ended up here after all. They are sheared, have to strip naked and are sent to the showers. The door closes behind them. They think that the gas is coming now. But water shoots out of the nozzles. Relief. Schindler later appears and saves the women and enables them to return to his factory in Krakow. Michael Haneke later accused Spielberg of playing with suspense which was inappropriate in this scene.
"Schindler's List", this more than three-hour, black and white historical film about the true story of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish people in the Holocaust, is a monument to cinema in the 1990s and was awarded seven Oscars.
It's hard to believe that Spielberg made the film immediately after the dinosaur spectacle "Jurassic Park". Spielberg, himself a Jew, has processed part of his own history in "Schindler's List". The film had been offered to him years earlier. In the meantime, Billy Wilder, whose family was murdered in the Holocaust, was interested.
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