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Speaking for a group of over a thousand workers, Itzhak Stern
'Schindler's'stands as a testament and milestone
By JOHANNA FLIES uncomfortable, you will see the most of the most powerful films of the year to work at his factory because they very credible in the fact that he does Schindler's own realization at the
You will not enjoy this film. You horrible and terrifying side of human- in his visualization of Thomas come cheap. He is greedy, manipula- not portray Schindler as a saint. He is film's end (which Neeson brilliantly
will not be entertained by what you ity exercised in modern history, but it Keneally's novel "Schindler's List," tive and has no problem moving into initially very distant from events and expresses) that is more to Spielberg's
see nor will you be swept away by a is something you should and must the true story of Oskar Schindler, a the recently confiscated apartment of individuals in the Jewish community purpose; Schindlercries that he could
glorious tale in a world of fantasy. see. German businessman and member of a wealthy Jewish family. With the and has extremely non-altruistic mo- have saved morepeople if only hehad
You will be disturbed, you will be Steven Spielberg has created one - the Nazi party who hires Jewish labor tivations. The shift in his attitude is sold his car or saved more money.
Directed by Steven Spielberg; written
by Steven Zaillian; with
Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley.
Jewish Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley)
running his factory, Schindler quietly
fights the military's attempts to trans-
port his workers so as not to hurt
production. Eventually, however,
Schindler manages to save over 1100
people from death by literally buying
their lives from camp leader Amon
Goeth (Ralph Fiennes).
Filmed in black and white with
many hand-held camera shots,
Spielberg has constructed what he
calls a "document," a movie that cap-
tures the frantic, unsettling pace of
the Jewish fight for survival. Much of
Poland where the film was shot is
little changed from the time of the
war, including the Auschwitz con-
centration camp and Schindler's apart-
ment. The characters become ghosts
of the past, acting out individuals'
plights on the very streets they oc-
Liam Neeson, who plays
Schindler, makes the transition from
selfish entrepreneur to closet savior
very subtle. There is no one moment
of dawning self-disgust or moral reck-
oning. Instead, there is an instinctual
response to every increasingly mon-
strous Nazi action which Neeson dis-
plays honestly and sensitively.
Goeth is not a cut-and-dry, one-
dimensional evil incarnation in the
same way that Schindler is not auto-
matically "the good guy." Fiennes
adds to the ruthlessly sadistic com-
mandant a twisted and pathetic lone-
liness that provides some insight into
As with many of Spielberg's other
movies, however, an outright hero is
never really established. Instead, the
horror of the Holocaust and the lives
and deaths of the Jewish population
are the focal points of the story.
Schindler certainly is well-deserving
of praise for spending all his money to
run a factory whose sole purpose was
saving lives and Spielberg does him a
great honor with this film. But it is
Spielberg reminds us in this scene
that there are limits even to the most
righteous intentions of one person.
He uses this film to remind us of the
enormous scope of madness that
Schindler alone could not stop.
"Schindler's List" will stand as
one of the most compelling films of
our time, not only as a remembrance
of the Holocaust but as a milestone
for a director. Spielberg, who will
donate all film proceeds to Holocaust
organizations, has proven his ability
to masterfully chronicle a wrenching
and momentous story.
The horror of small children be-
ing herded to their deaths, the stark-
ness of the Jewish ghetto, the Nazi
greed and the myriad of emotions and
motivations of Amon Goeth and Oskar
Schindler were captured in a bril-
liance for which Spielberg must be
SCHINDLER'S LiST plays at
Showcase starting Friday.
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Liam Neeson gives an honest performance in the role of Oskar Schindler.
11I t4 pi A n