Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Schindler's List

One of my favorite movies.

Schindler's List
-1993 film about Oskar Schindler, who was a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish-Jews during the Holocaust. He said that his only regret was he couldn't save more. He gave them refuge by hiring them to work in his factories.
-Based on the novel Schindler's  Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally
-Stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as Nazi SS officer Amon Goth, Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern

Did You Know?
-Steven Spielberg's first R rated movie
-The most expensive black and white movie ever made

-Begins in 1933 with the German initiated relocation of Polish Jews from the surrounding neighborhoods to a ghetto in Krakow, Poland. Elsewhere, Oskar Schindler(Liam Neeson) is an ethnic German businessman from Moravia. He arrives in the city with hopes of making his fortune as a war profiteer. He is a member of the Nazi Party, lavishes bribes upon the Wehrmacht and SS officers in charge of things. Sponsored by the military, Schindler gets a factory to produce army mess kits. Not knowing much about how to properly run a factory, he develops a close relationship with Itzhak Stern(Ben Kingsley), an official in Krakow's Judenrat(Jewish Council). He has contracts with Jewish business owners and black marketeers inside the ghetto. The Jewish businessmen lend Schindler the money for the factory in return for a small share of money from the products. Schindler opens the factory and pleases the Nazis, while Stern handles the administration. He hires Jewish Poles instead of Catholic Poles because they cost less(the wages are paid to the SS). Schindler's factory workers are allowed outside in the ghetto and Stern falsifies papers to ensure that as many people as humanly possible are deemed "necessary" to German war effort. Thus, saving themselves from concentration camps or death

-SS Lt. Amon Goth(Ralph Fiennes) arrives in Krakow to oversee the construction of the Plaszow concentration camp. Once done, he orders the final clearing of the ghetto and Operation Reinhard in Krakow starts. Troops begin emptying the room and killing anyone who protests or appears troublesome. Schindler, watching the massacre from the hills overlooking the house with his msitress, is profoundly distressed. He is careful to befriend Goth and through the attention of Stern to bribery, Schindler continues to enjoy SS support. During this, he bribes Goth into allowing him to build a sub camp for his workers, so he can keep his factory running on all cylinders and protect them from being randomly killed. Time passes, and Schindler begins to act on information provided by Stern to try and save as many lives as he can. The war shifts attention, Goth gets orders from Berlin telling him to exhume and destroy any remains of every Jew killed in the Ghetto, dismantle Plaszow, and ship remaining Jews- including Schindler's workers- to the Auschwitz concentration camp

-At first, Schindler prepares to leave Krakow with his money. But he finds himself unable to do it, so he prevails upon Goth to allow him to keep the workers so he can move them to a factory in his home of Zwittau-Brinnlitz, away from the Final Solution. Goth agrees and charges a bribe for each worker. Schindler and Stern assemble a list of employees who are to be kept off the train to Auschwitz
-"Schindler's List" is comprised of "skilled" people, which for many of the people means the difference between life and death. Almost all the people on his list arrive with no harm at the new site. The train carrying the Jewish Women is accidentally redirected to Auschwitz. The women are taken to what they believe is the gas chambers, only to find that it's not gas, but water, from showers, so they openly weep with joy and relief. The next day, they are shown waiting in line for work and being inspected by the camp doctor, Dr. Joseph Mengele. Elsewhere, Schindler rushed immediately to Auschwitz to rescue the women, bribing the commander, Rudolf Hob, with a cache of diamonds in exchange for the release of the women.  A last minute problem arises, just as the women board the train. Several SS men attempt to hold the children back. Schindler insists that he needs their hands to polish the insides of the artillery shells. As a result, they are freed. Once back in Zwittau-Brinnlitz, Schindler states firm controls on SS guards in the factory, forbidding them to enter the production areas. He does permit the Jewish and encourages them to observe the Sabbath and all Jewish holy days. In order to keep his workers alive, he spends much of the time bribing Nazi officers and buying shells from other factories. Later, he surprises his wife while she is in the village church during mass, telling her that she will be the only woman in his life. She goes to the factory with him to help out. He runs out of money just as the Wehrmacht surrenders.

-As a member of the Nazi Party, in 1945, Schindler must evade the Red Army who is rapidly advancing their way. Schindler insists that the SS, who were ordered to liquidate the Jews of Brinnlitz, that they return to their home and families as men, not murderers. In the chaotic aftermath, he packs a car in the night and bids farewell to his employees. They give him a letter explaining he is not a criminal to them, along with a ring made secretly from a worker's gold dental bridge and engraved with a Talmudic quote "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire". He is touched deeply and also at the same time ashamed, feeling guilty that he did not save more. Crying, he considers how many lives he could have saved as he leaves with his wife

-The "Schindler" Jews, having slept outside the factory gates during the night, are awakened by sunlight and a Soviet dragoon arriving to announce to the Jews they have been liberated by the Red Army. They walk away free to a nearby town in search of food. The next few scenes show post war events. Such as Amon Goth being hung to death for war crimes, and it returns to the Jews walking into the nearby town. It cuts to modern day, the Jews visiting the grave of Oskar Schindler in Jerusalem(where he wanted to be buried). the film ends with a procession of now elderly Jewish who worked in the factory, setting a stone reverently on his grave as a traditional Jewish custom noting deep gratitude. The actors playing the characters walk hand in hand with the people they played in real life, placing stones on it as they pass. Ben Kingsley is accompanied by the widow of Itzhak Stern, who died in 1969. The film ends with a statement saying that there were 4,000 Jews left alive in Poland, but more than 6,000 descendants of the Schindler Jews all over the world. And Liam Neeson(not pictured), places a stone on the grave.


[edit] Secondary

  • Ezra Dagan – Rabbi Lewartow, a rabbi who acquires skills as a welder in Schindler's camp.
  • Malgoscha Gebel – Wiktoria Klonowska, Schindler's mistress.
  • Shmuel Levy – Wilek Chilowicz.
  • Mark Ivanir – Marcel Goldberg.
  • Béatrice Macola – Ingrid.
  • Andrzej SewerynJulian Scherner.
  • Friedrich von Thun – Rolf Czurda.
  • Krzysztof Luft – Herman Toffel.
  • Harry Nehring – Leo John.
  • Norbert Weisser – Albert Hujar.
  • Adi Nitzan – Mila Pfefferberg, Poldek Pfefferberg's wife.
  • Michael Schneider – Juda Dresner.
  • Miri Fabian – Chaja Dresner.
  • Anna Mucha – Danka Dresner.
  • Ben Darby – Man in grey.
  • Albert Misak – Mordecai Wulkan.
  • Hans-Michael Rehberg – Rudolf Höss.
  • Daniel Del Ponte – Dr. Josef Mengele.

1 comment:

  1. I really need to see this and very interesting facts. But I did not know that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) was in the movie. :)