’s List Essay, Research Paper
Steven Speilberg s main purpose for directing the film Schindler s List was to tell the best story to ever come out of the Holocaust, whilst informing the viewer of the horrific events that occurred during the Holocaust was his secondary motive. Due to the fact that the movie is based around the life of one man, it is obvious that this is correct. Also, the development of the characters and the importance of names in the film suggest that is was not merely a Holocaust documentary. Schindler s List is an award-winning masterpiece that is not only entertaining, but informative.
Oskar Schindler was the saint of the devil , and Schindler s List is the story of his life, not the story of the Holocaust. The movie follows Schindler from the money-hungry business tycoon, to his metamorphosis into a saviour of thousands. As the protagonist, Oskar s mind becomes exposed to the viewer to reveal his innermost thoughts through the direction of Speilberg. Speilberg has taken the story of Schindler s life, written and spoken by many, and given it life on the screen. The movie would not be Schindler s List without Schindler. Had Speilberg wanted to, he could have easily directed a documentary or even another film totally based on the events of the Holocaust. But instead, he has taken a story of a man from the Holocaust and shown the world that man s life.
Whilst it could be argued that Schindler s List was directed merely as a learning tool about the Holocaust, the intricacy of the characters and their development counteract that argument. All of the characters, but particularly Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth, were the central focus of the movie. The whole film was based around the lives of these men, who, as it so happens, were alive at the time of the Holocaust. The same story could have occurred in other circumstances but the main focus of the movie would not change, although teaching the viewer about the Holocaust is a secondary motive. The depth that Speilberg went to in developing these two characters in particular is unsurpassed in his other films. The fact that the character s lives were the focal point of Schindler s List , and that their lives coincided with the Holocaust does not constitute that the movie is entirely to educate about the events of the Holocaust.
Schindler s List is a relevant name because the movie revolves around a list compiled by Schindler, a list of over 1100 names, names that shaped the movie. It was the names on that list that were the whole reason not only for the movie, but also for the story of Oskar Schindler. Names were so important throughout the whole movie, more important than the actual history of World War Two and the Holocaust. Not once in the movie did the viewer see or hear of Adolf Hitler, nor do they receive a specific outline of the events of the Holocaust. The viewer is bombarded with visions of personal items, details of personal lives, swamped with names. Yes, they are shown in great detail the horrors that those named people went through, but the horrors only added to the lives of those people, and were secondary to their story.
Speilberg has successfully entertained and informed an audience simultaneously. He has managed to capture the life of one of the greatest heroes of war, a hero that was only know to the many Jewish people he saved until Schindler s List was made. Though the film does graphically portray the grief and terror of the Holocaust, not once is the viewer s attention averted from the story of Oskar Schindler. The use of names rather than the reporting of events further goes to show the lack of the documentary genre as opposed to the story of a hero. Schindler s List is first and foremost the story of a man that was an instrument of the living God, and secondly an informative view on the horrific events of the Holocaust.