Pros: the story of one type of hero
Cons: violent, depressing
Oyfin pripetshok brent a feyerl,
un in shtub iz heys;
un der rebe lerent kleyne kinderlech
dem a lef beys;
un der rebe lerent kleyne kinderlech
dem a lef beys.
Zetzhe kinderlech, gedenktzhe tayere,
vos ir lerent do;
Zogtzhe noch amol un take noch amol;
When I saw a write-off called "Movies That Made Me Cry**," I had to sign up with Schindler's List. However, to be honest, I have not viewed this movie in many years, and even with a generous amount of time between signing up for the write-off and the actual date of writing, I still did not take advantage of the time to watch it again. Why not? Because even after years and years this movie sticks with you. It will strike you at soul-level and you will never forget it.
The basics: Schindler's List is a 3 hour 17 minute black and white with color segments film directed by Steven Spielberg, released in 1993. It has been honored with seven Academy Awards(R): Best Picture, Best Director, Screenplay, Cinematography, Music, Editing, and Art Direction, as well as seven British Academy Awards; the Best Picture Awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Producers Guild, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the Chicago, Boston, and Dallas Film Critics; a Christopher Award; and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Golden Globe Awards. For this movie, Steven Spielberg was also honored with the Directors Guiod of America Award. The rating is R.
Cast: Liam Neeson - Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley - Itzhak Stern, Ralph Fiennes - Amon Goeth, Caroline Goodall - Emilie Schindler, Jonathan Sagalle - Poldek Pfefferberg, Embeth Davidtz - Helen Hirsch, Andrzej Seweryn - Julian Scherner, Norbert Weisser - Albert Hujar, Elina Lowensohn - Diana Reiter, Malgoscha Gebel - Victoria Klonowska, Shmulik Levy - Wilek Chilowicz, Mark Ivanir - Marcel Goldberg, Beatrice Macola - Ingrid, Friedrich von Thun - Rolf Czurda, Krzysztof Luft - Herman Toffel, Harry Nehring - Lee John, Adi Nitzan - Mila Pfefferberg, Michael Schneider - Juda Dresner, Branko Lustig - Nightclub Maitre d', and thousands of extras as Nazis and Jews
The Story: The movie is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, considered both a cynical, greedy exploiter of slave workers during the Second World War, a black-marketeer, gambler, member of the Nazi party eternally on the lookout for profit, alcoholic playboy and shameless womanizer of the worst sort and also as a hero and honored in Israel and declared "Righteous" and invited to plant a tree in The Avenue of the Righteous, which leads to the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem. A memorial in the Park of Heroes praises him as the Saviour of more than 1,200 Jews.
The movie begins with Schindler hob-nobbing with the upper-crust of the Nazi party, making his connections and generally enjoying himself. Schindler enjoyed a great deal of wealth at this time, which is shown in juxtaposition to the poverty the Jewish people were subjected to. Schindler ends up using his wealth and influence to help his Jewish employees survive the Holocaust. By the end of the war, he had saved 1,100 Jews, 6,000 descendents of whom are currently living in the USA, Europe, and Israel. The closing scene of the movie shows descendents of Schindler's Jews visiting his grave in Jerusalem. He asked to be buried there, saying, "My children are here ....."
Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are both amazing in their roles as Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth, respectively. Fiennes was practically unknown before this movie.
Avir harim tsalul kamayim v'reach oranim,
ni sa b'ruach haar bayim im kol pa a mo nim;
uv tardemat ilan va even sh'vu ya bachaloma,
hairasher badad yoshevet ub'liba cho ma.
Y'rushalayim shelzahav v'shel n'choshet v'shel or
halo l'chol shi rayich a ni ki nor.***
I saw this movie in the theater originally when I was in high school. I saw it on a Friday night and spent the rest of the weekend following my mother around talking about it. It stayed in the forefront of my mind for weeks. It really gets under your skin and stays with you. What scenes do you remember?
The scene that defines the movie for me is that of a little girl in a red coat running around trying to find her family and hide from a Nazi rounding up of Jews. Later, we see her red coat on one of many piles of items and bodies that the Nazi are throwing out. The red coat is one of very few items of color in this movie.
The execution of the female Jewish engineer who told the Nazi builders how to fix a building that was not structurally sound. Goeth ordered her execution, then told the foreman to build it according to her specifications.
Schindler chasing trains bound for Auschwitz to find his right hand man in saving the lives of his Jews, Itzhak Stern. At the same train station, you see Jews lined up to board the trains, their posessions on the other side of the station, in piles where Nazi go through and collect valuables.
The look on the face of a jeweler in the employ of the Nazi's when gold-filled teeth are dumped in front of him to examine.
The list of scenes goes on and on. Even though Schindler's List is the story of Oskar Schindler Hollywood-ized, it is a piece of history. Tears will flow as you watch; your soul will be touched and altered.
There is a lot of violence and some nudity. Parents should view this movie first before allowing children under the age of 13 to watch. Even though the rating is R, most high school students should be mature enough to watch this movie.
*Oyfen Pripetshok Copyright 1994 by Hal Leonard Corporation, Choral Selection from Schindler's List
Oh, the fire burns while the hours turn
and the embers flow.
And the rabbi teaches all the little ones
what they need to know.
And the rabbi teaches all the litte ones
what they need to know.
See now little ones, remember little ones,
don't forget, now please
say it once and say it over once again
all your A B Cs.
***Jerusalem of Gold (Yerushalem Shel-Zahav) Original Music and Lyric by Naomi Shemer-Sapir, English Version by Norman Newell, Copyright 1967 by Chappel Music Ltd., Copyright 1994 by Chappell Music Ltd., Choral Selections from Schindler's List
The olive trees that stand in silence upon the hills of time,
to hear the voices of the city as bells of evening chim.
The Shofar sounding from the temple to call the world to prayer,
the shepherd pauses in the valley and peace is everywhere.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, forever young, forever old,
my heart will sing your songs of glory, Jerusalem.
"Academy Award" is the registered trademark and service mark of teh Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
**This review is a part of the "Movies That Made Me Cry" Write-Off hosted by msmorvay. Thank you for including me. Please read all the wonderful contributions by the participants. Participants are: