Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Schindler's List"

"Schindler's List" is, in my humble opinion, the perfect film. It is socially important, made by craftsman of film - Steven Spielberg, the money from the film was used to collect Holocaust survivor stories, high school students all over the United States were permitted to see the movie free of charge. The cinematography is stunning, the acting is stunning - Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes are unforgettable.

I know that many people find it difficult to see this film. In fact, I have never heard of an Acadamy Award-winning film that so many people have not seen. People always say it is too hard to watch - the same people who don't watch the news, read the newspaper or have any idea what is occuring while they put their head in the sand. People like to think that the Holocaust couldn't happen in this day and age, but it can. It happens around the world - perhaps in a different way, but look at Darfur, the Congo, Bosnia...unless we remember ethnic cleansing has happened more than one time in the last century and that it continues this century, we will never be able to conquer the incredible hatred that bubbles up and destroys people.
I believe the movie opened on Christmas Day, 1993. My friend Kevin and I went to see the movie on opening night. We waited 2 hours in line and ended up in the third row of a huge theatre. I remember that the train scene at the beginning made me feel like I was there in Poland. The roar was so loud and we were so close...I started to cry right then. I cried throughout the entire film - it was so powerful. After the film was over and the credits started to roll, the theatre was utterly one moved. The credits rolled and everyone stayed in the theatre until the lights came up. Still, no one spoke. Everyone just got up and started filing out of the theatre.
After that, I took Roby, my parents, Roby and his parents and made everyone else I could see it. I was interpreting in a school at the time and ended up seeing it with one of the school performances, as well.
Now I own a couple of copies of the film and I try to watch it regularly (yearly). I watched the NBC presentation when it was on, as well.
This is one of the movies that I would show my children if I had them - when they were old enough (although I think that people misjudge what children can handle. I went to Dachau with my parents when I was about 8 years old. I remember it. The feeling. The quiet. It was the beginning of a life-long study of the Holocaust and the meaning behind it - I have always felt like it is my duty to remember and to help others remember, too.)

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