Renegade Retrospective: Schindler’s List

Alex Volkerijk, Writer

Ms. Lorenz, a history teacher at Shawnee, shows the film Schindler’s List to AP history students every year. She had this to say about the movie and its importance. “Schindler’s List is a powerful and extremely raw portrayal of the Holocaust. I believe everyone should see this movie so that they have an unedited view of how truly barbaric the Holocaust was. The second reason I show the movie is to illustrate to students the power of one person to make a difference. Schindler was flawed in many ways but he did a tremendously heroic thing. I show students this movie to illustrate that even in the darkest of times ultimate good can shine through.”

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film remains one of the most iconic pieces of film in history. And for good reason. Spielberg’s masterpiece of storytelling brings the audience up close and personal to the horrors of the holocaust, and the epitomes of human evil and good.

The film tells the story of a man named Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who uses the Nazi’s rise to power to make a profit, using imprisoned Jewish people as free labor in his factory. Schindler’s assistant, Itzhak Stern(Ben Kingsley), uses his employment as an opportunity to save lives.

From beginning to end, the film shows Schindler’s journey from a greedy businessman exploiting the holocaust for his own gain to a savior, employing as many people as he can to save their lives. Through Spielberg’s masterful directing, and the startlingly real effects and imagery, both Schindler and the audience experience the systematic murder of the Jews during the holocaust.

This film is one everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime. It’s true to life representation of one of the most horrific events in human history is an eye-opening experience. The Holocaust is an event that humankind should never forget, and Spielberg’s immortalization has helped and will help future generations to learn and teach about what happened.