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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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Schindler's List 
Schindler's List review
4/4 stars

A German businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) attempts to save more than a thousand Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. He is assisted by the loyal accountant and business partner Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley). Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) is an SS officer assigned to build and run the Płaszów concentration camp. Schindler induces Goeth to create a sub-camp for his workers to keep his factory of army mess kits working. An order to Goeth was rendered to incinerate the remains of all Jews, dismantle Płaszów and ship the remaining Jews to Auschwitz concentration camp. Some memorable lines: Oskar Schindler – “People die, it's a fact of life. He wants to kill everybody?” “He addresses the factory's SS guards] I know you have received orders from our commandant, which he has received from his superiors, to dispose of the population of this camp. Now would be the time to do it. Here they are; they're all here. This is your opportunity. … Or, you could leave, and return to your families as men instead of murderers. [The guards gradually exit; he addresses the workers again] In memory of the countless victims among your people, I ask us to observe three minutes of silence.” Itshak Stern – “[To Schindler, presenting a ring] It's Hebrew from the Talmud. It says, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." “The list is an absolute good. The list is life.”

A very personal film created by the legendary director who never utilized any fancy crane, Steadicam or zoom lens. The black and white cinematography and style of shooting brought out the authenticity of the horrific occurrence. John Williams again provides a masterful score for the picture. Such powerful performances from Neeson, Kingsley and Fiennes were on full display. The cerebral screenplay was just engaging by itself and has universal themes of compassion, valuing life and intuitiveness in certain situations. The flick’s impact and technical brilliance is tremendous since it has been included in many “best of” lists, won 7 Oscars (12 nominations) in the Academy Awards and garnering 3 Golden Globes. Symbolisms on the film were evident such as the girl in red (death of the innocence/life wasted for such a young age), candles lit and the list (importance of religion by allowing Schindler’s workers to hold Shabbat services/hope/life spared). Another memorable quote: Mr. Lowenstein – “(to Stern) He saved my life…God bless him… (to Schindler) God bless you.” Whatever the religion, culture, personality one may have, this picture speaks volumes regarding the significance of mortality, hatred and compassion. Schindler’s List is a flawless classic that depicts the repulsions of the Holocaust and the morally venerable man who saved countless lives.


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