Now this is what movie making is all about!
Yes, I am probably one of the last person’s who had not seen Schindler’s List. I don’t know why. Maybe the long 3 hour 15 minutes length scared me off. And the black and white.
But really those did not deter from the masterpiece this was by director Steven Spielberg.
Despite the long run time, the movie was not boring. It was masterfully edited and cut. The pacing was superb. Not spending too much time on one scene or subject. Moving along swimmingly. Constantly stimulating with new intrigue and drama at every turn. But the drama was not heavy-handed or melodramatic. It was matter of fact. Which serves this subject matter best, no embellishments are needed. The true inhumanity is shocking enough.
The black and white made sense as movies were black and white during the time of history this movie is set in. It puts you in that time. The girl in the red coat I did not understand or get the symbolism. Oh well, probably meant something.
Irregardless, the story was spellbinding. One of the worst atrocities in human history. But in the midst, Oskar Schildler’s humanity is awakened. Schindler was a German. He was officially a Nazi. He was a businessman. He employed Jews in his factories. Apparently made a bundle. He was not a rigid Nazi like the military officers who would shoot a Jewish person as soon as look at them. He was more a Nazi of convenience. Of opportunism. A profiteer. Also a womanizer.
Oskar Schindler was not a perfect person, despite his heroic deeds. He is a great example of the dual nature of man, good and evil.
I know some Christians (and I am a Christian) like to quote verses about how completely evil humanity is. Such as “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Or “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64.6
But can we do anything “good”? Oskar Schindler was not a Christian. Yet he saved the lives of 1200 people. Is that not good? He could have saved his money and let them all die. I don’t know how one could say he did not do a good thing.
I believe Oskar Schindler’s “goodness” can be attributed two things:
1. We are made in the image of God. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them” Gen 1:27
2. The bible says that everyone has a God-given conscience: “(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)” Rom 2: 14 – 15.
Do we always follow this conscience? No, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Rom 3:23.
Our guilty consciences do speak loudly inside ourselves that we need redemption. Which is why Jesus died on the cross for us:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
The acting of Liam Niesen and Ralph Fiennes earned them both Academy Awards. Particularly Ralph Fiennes as the cold-hearted Nazi leader stole the show. The acting by the remaining cast was also very good.
They did the victims and survivors of this atrocity justice. The story was told with great skill. Earning Steven Spielberg a well deserved Oscar for best director.