Rating: 5 out of 5
The story of the holocaust is well-known & is better known than the atrocities committed by Stalin & Mao even though the magnitude of these were larger than those committed by the Nazis.
Nevertheless, the sheer horror of the Nazi’s killing machine is brought to life in this intense but moving portrayal of the first the ghettoization & then the elimination of this 600 year-old community.
Ralph Fiennes portrayal of the vicious inhuman behaviour of the German Commandant is outstanding in every respect. His behaviour highlights the Nazis belief that these were the untermenschen, deserving of contempt & gratuitous violence.
By filming in black & white, the starkness & melancholy nature of the subject is enhanced.
The “star” of the show is a Nazi member, Oskar Schindler. The flaws in his character are not glossed over & at no point is he canonized as a saint which he undoubtedly was not. Apart from being a womaniser, his ethics were highly questionable in that he bribed his way into the Nazi elite. An excellent portrayal by Liam Neeson brings the lying, scheming, conniving Oskar vividly to life, believable in every way.
The dark, brooding & menacing behaviour of the Nazis guards makes most Jews withdraw into themselves. The sombre accountant at the Deutchse Enamelenfabriken, Itzak Stern is flawlessly played by Ben Kingsley. His opaque expression underlies the turmoil within & his sadness the wretched soul of a cultured man.
Schindler’s List is a vivid evocation of the horrors of the Nazis racial cleansing policies writ large. It deserves to be watched but being three hours in length, set aside a free afternoon to do so.