7th August 2017

Schindler’s List

Text Type: Visual Text                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Date Completed: 20/04/2017

The film, “Schindler’s List,” directed by Steven Spielberg is a powerful film. The story is based on the German industrialist, Oskar Schindler, who risked his life rescuing 1200 Jews from the gas chamber during the Holocaust period. Initially he saw the Jews as being used for cheap labour. When he first came to Krakow, he came with nothing but a suitcase and a plan to leave with trucks full of money; but then, something changed.

The visual text connects back into the current world’s society historically, socially and politically.The Holocaust period may not be the most serene part of our history but is immensely important, forming the world we live in today. “Schindler’s List” has taught me that the reason we learn history is to learn about the mistakes in the past and improve the future of our children; the next generation.The twentieth century was one of the world’s bloodiest periods, six years of mass murder with over sixty million people killed, we shall remember those who lost them lives and learn a lesson from them. What the Nazis did to the Jews was unacceptable and we can not let this happen again. Sadly, the killing of innocent people is still happening today in the current world’s society. An example of this is terrorism in London that just happened recently. “We can not let terrorism change our ways, but we must learn what lessons we can from each attack.” The Second World War was the result of the First World War and this demonstrates to us that mistakes happen again and again, if a war breaks out in the future, it means that we are incapable of remembering the mistakes made by our ancestors- as if lessons in the past have been forgotten. Furthermore, “Schindler’s List” displays a catastrophe resulted by the dictatorship system. This system is still being used in some countries, such as, North Korea. People of North Korea have no say in their government. Everyone must obey the law that the dictator, Kim Jong-Un has made, even if it means that their basic rights are taken away, they have no freedom in choosing religious beliefs, watching television or listening to music from overseas. In New Zealand, we use democracy, the system of government that allows its citizens to vote for their leader, comment on their performance in running the country. I believe this is the best system for any country because us, the people are part of decision-making of the government.

This film connects to my personal viewpoint of people should be treated equally. It is clearly evident throughout the film that the Jews are being treated like animals, they are forced into slave labour and to live in a concentration camp. They have no rights to speak otherwise they will be shot or tortured to death. I do not agree with the officers’ way of treating Jewish people as I believe that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of their gender, sexuality, religion or race.

Personally, I believe that “Schindler’s List” is an educational film that is worth seeing. The whole film is in black and white which to me, is a very effective technique because it brings the viewers to the events and characters in 1939. It captures the way many individuals envision World War 2- through black and white images and film style of the 1940s. The use of black and white also allows the director to emphasize the essential scenes or the essential characters. In one scene, Schindler catches sight of a little girl from a distance. She is wearing a red coat which draws the viewer to pay attention to her even when she is among hundreds of Jews in an extreme long shot. At the end of the film, Schindler tells his workers that they are now independent and free to leave but he will be chased as a war criminal. The most final and touching scene, is when Schindler grieves, sobbing as he could have sacrificed more to save more Jews,If he sold his car and his Nazi emblem, 12 more people would have been alive. The film has shown us both hardship of the Jewish people and the inhumanity of the Nazi party, as well as the magnitude of human benevolence. When the workers gather outside the factory to bid farewell to Schindler, Stern steps forward and offers him with a gold ring made from the tooth of a factory worker, decorated with the Talmudic phrase, which beautifully concludes the film, “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

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