Artpig’s review published on Letterboxd :
I always felt bad when the Holocaust unit would come up in Social Studies and I would get excited because I knew my grade would raise a letter grade.
I've mentioned in the past I have a fascination with tragedies. I've read and watched videos all about 9-11, school shootings, serial killers and yes, The Holocaust.
Before you call the cops, this isn't because I enjoy these things, its because I'm fascinated by them. I'm scared by them. I'm lost and I'm confused, I'm trying to slowly put together the pieces of why. Why do these things happen? How could someone get this low? Once someone has literally killed millions of jews, that doesn't make them human anymore? just a monster? How does that happen?
Schindler's List is easily one of the most important films ever made. I know that's deemed for a lot of films, but, this is easily one of the essential movie viewing experiences and I can't believe I've only seen it today because I was sick. Honestly, I was planning to watch Seven Samurai because it was voted on the most on my poll but Filmstruck was being slow and this was on Netflix. While I'm hyped to see Seven Samurai, I guess I really needed to watch this today and I'm glad I did.
This is one of those harrowing epic films that is really eye opening to me.
I've had my own issues going on. I was actually sick because yesterday I had a bit of a panic attack and was up till 3 and got like 5 hours of sleep. It was everything to wondering if people liked me, if I had screwed up my life, what my thoughts on life were and what I stood for, my job and if I was good enough to do anything more then what I am or if I just screwed up everything, if people just tolerated me to be nice, if all my good memories in life was a myth and if I could even end up making good movies in the first place. All my friends from High School were out there doing things with their life and I'm still stuck in southwest Missouri in the same room I was last year yet things seemed so much brighter then.
Yet, as I watched Schindler's List, I realized how selfish I was, even ignorant. I mean the feelings I have happen to everyone, their a door designed by Satin to get you to give up and its something you have to look past and get on the other side of. That being said, can you imagine, your entire race or religion being persecuted for just being born? Being treated less then cattle on a farm and tossed around like items? That must be the ultimate blow, the ultimate feeling of being unwanted or unloved. It makes me angry, it makes me so so angry stuff like this actually happened.
While the Holocaust no longer is a thing fortunately, intolerance still exists today in America. People who are unloving and intolerable of people who are unlike them. Bullies who put others down to make themselves feel a certain amount of power. People who judge one another by the way they look instead of their actual character. This sort of evil bigotry and intolerance of people unlike the norm is still a barrier that has caused America to be divided. We must not forget one thing, people are people. They must be judged on the way they act and not by their believes, social class or sexual orientation.
Sadly enough- terrible people will always exist because the world is a terrifying and cruel place. People like Ralph Fines character will always exist. People who just want to bully their way into power and put others down to bring themselves up and try to pass that behavior as normal.
That is why we must be like Oscar Schindler. He saw the injustice going on in society and decided to do the best he could in his position to save thousands of lives. He's a hero because he saw injustice and instead of going along with it and playing the victim card when caught like several Nazis after the war was over, in his position he decided to help. Today, if you see any sort of injustice happening, be on the right side of history. Be a good person, be a good friend. It's scary sometimes and it's tough, but, it's the most rewarding thing to realize that you are doing the right thing and your ripple effect could make someone else in this world feel a little less alone.
Now that we are done with my preaching- how is the movie? It's terrific of course.
The cinematography is stunning, the choice of filming in black and white gives the film so much versatility and Spielberg knows how to use this technique well with his choices of sets and colors to make the most impact in every shot. He truly is one of the best directors of our time. The acting is amazing. Liam Nelson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fines all deserve statues for their layered performances. The writing is dense and smart and the movie is pretty engaging for the most part. The scenes of pure horror are uncompromising and scary- they left me with my jaw opened, horrified innocent people had to live through such horror. Spielberg directed this film with so much care, and it's pretty close to perfect.
It's hard- this is a movie that I'm not gonna watch again until years later. It's just not something I actually enjoyed watching. The film at times could just feel agonizingly long and slow, but, that's just because there's only so much torture and injustice you can watch on screen until it gets tedious. That's kinda the point of the film, to just show how harsh this lifestyle was. I can certainly see why this is considered one of the best films ever made, but, I couldn't personally consider it a favorite of mine. However, its an incredibly powerful, important and harrowing film to watch if you need a reminder just how fortunate in your life you actually are.
P.S. the scene Oscar Schindler breaks down about the car at the end of the movie is one of the best moments in any film I've ever seen in my life. Instant tears. OOF I need to do something to cheer me up now.