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Schindler's List: The Embodiment of Epic War Drama

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

No other war drama film would ever come that close to Schindler's List's depiction of the barbaric and brutal results of the Holocaust from the eyes of a single person. Yes, arguably, the scenes of the film we're not as accurate when it comes to the reality of the concentration camps but in the sense of film's creativity and the way audience were appalled by the genocide committed by the single most evil person in the world was enough to consider it as one of the best film ever made.

Unbeknownst to some, the film was a life long commitment of a Holocaust survivor to immortalize Oskar Schindler. The Holocaust survivor's name is Leopold "Poldek" Pfefferberg. He was a physical education teacher that joined the Polish Army to join the effort to defend Poland against the German invasion. Wounded, he was saved by his officer and was able to meet Oskar Schindler while visiting his mother in Kraków. His mother was an interior designer and was employed by Schindler to decorate his new apartment. Poldek was lucky enough, through his mother's help, to acquire a job at Schindler's factory, survive the war and immigrated to America. In his new home in Los Angeles, he started persuading screen-writers and film-makers into creating a film about he's savior and quoting "Schindler game me my life, and I tried to give him immortality."

His story earned the interest of an Australian novelist named Thomas Keneally and would later write the book Schindler's Ark with Poldek as his advisor. But for Poldek a book was not enough. For him a film would truly put Oskar Schindler to a place in history he truly deserves. Poldek and Keneally persuaded Steven Spielberg to the film adaptation of the book. It took them 11 years of persuasion for the award winning director/producer to give in.

The timing was great. The year 1993 was the best year for the whole world to see the life of Oskar Schindler and the unbelievable situation the Jews underwent in the hands of the Nazi Germany. The young generations were able to see the inhumanities of World War II while the adults and old alike relived the past but found refuge in Schindler. Liam Neeson's portrayal of Oskar Schindler would never be more perfect. He was up against Daniel Day Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, and Tom Hanks in the Academy Awards but lost to Hanks for his portrayal of an AIDS victim fighting discrimination in Philadelphia. On the other hand, the film went on winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. The American Film Institute placed Schindler's List as the 9th best film of all time and making it one of the must watch movies of all time.

An unforgettable scene in the film is the time when Schindler was watching from a hill overlooking an area where Jews were being round up for execution. He's attention was caught by a young girl about 4 years and wearing a red coat following her fellow Jews. Later on he sees another girl in the same red coat atop of a pile of corpses and was assumed as the same girl. Many interpretations of the significance of the girl in the red coat came about. The girl could have been Schindler's wake up call to change his ill-intentions of war profiteering to helping out Jews escape the brutality of the German Nazi.

"America and Russia and England all knew about the Holocaust when it was happening, and yet we did nothing about it. We didn't assign any of our forces to stopping the march toward death, the inexorable march toward death. It was a large bloodstain, primary red color on everyone's radar, but no one did anything about it. And that's why I wanted to bring the color red in." – Steven Spielberg's interpretation of the girl in the red coat.



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