Schindler’s List Film Essay

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19 March 2016

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In the film Schindler’s List directed by Steven Spielberg an important idea was the character change of Oskar Schindler throughout the film. Schindler went from a self-centred, uncaring war profiteer to a caring, sympathetic man who was willing to risk his life to help save the lives or even simply better the conditions of hundreds of Jews. Schindler’s character change is shown through dialogue as well as audio and visual techniques. In the beginning of the film Schindler is shown entering his new apartment after what seems like only minutes after the Jewish family who had owned it had left. Schindler shows no regard for the previous owners and their losses. This is shown through a medium shot of Schindler as he stretches out on the Nussbaum’s bed and the dialogue said by Schindler contently “It could not be better”. Parallel editing is used to cut the Nussbaum’s family entering the crowded Ghetto saying “How could it be worse” as they assess their surroundings. This scene shows the contrast between the careless happiness of Schindler and the despair of the Nussbaum family. A pivotal scene shows Schindler’s change during the clearing of the Krakow Ghetto.

An over the shoulder shot from Schindler’s point of view focuses on a little girl in a red coat, a contrast to the black and white of the film. The little girls red coat symbolises innocence and a cry for help. While watching her Schindler can see no harm and feels no harm can come to her while his gaze is on her, however when his gaze shifts, she begins to be hunted. After Schindler leaves the colour of her coat fades to grey symbolising that all hope and life had faded away with the colour. Oskar Schindler had many opportunities to ignore human suffering, however chose to be merciful instead. One example of this was when Schindler risked imprisonment and humiliation for ordering and aiding the men to spray the cattle train, full of Jews, heading for Aushwitz extermination camp, with water from the fire hose. Although the Jews were headed for certain death Schindler still provided them with water as they were greatly dehydrated. The character of Oskar Schindler goes through some important character changes. Pictured in the beginning of the film as an uncaring, merciless man, Spielberg uses Dialogue and film techniques to allow the audience to experience Schindler’s character change as he becomes empathetic and caring and willing to risk his own life for others. Witnessing the changing of Schindler lets the audience feel proud of how far Schindler has come and he did to save the Jews in his

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"Schindler’s List Film Essay" StudyScroll, Mar 19, 2016.

"Schindler’s List Film Essay" StudyScroll, 19-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Schindler’s List Film Essay. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

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