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IB Film - Case Studies
Schindler's List
Title: Schindler's List 

Director: Steven Spielberg 

Year: 1993 

Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland who sees the Nazi rise to power as an opportunity to make money. Together with his assistant Itzhak Stern, using flattery and bribes to win military contracts, he starts a firm to make cookware and utensils. They staff the plant with Jews who have been herded into Krakow's ghetto by the Nazi troops and therefore gain a dependable unpaid labor. However, in 1942, all of Krakow's Jews are forced to go to the Plaszow Labor Camp. Schindler sees what is happening to his employees and begins to develop a conscience. 


Significance: Schindler's list is the most critically approved movie of Steven Spielberg's career. It won seven Oscars- Best Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music-Original Score and Best Writing (with screenplay based on material from another medium.) In 2004, the Library of Congress reckoned the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. Schindler's List also appeared on the Time magazine's list of 100 Greatest Films and on Roger Ebert's 'Great Movies'. The readers of the German film magazine Cinema voted the movie as #1 to the best movie of all time. Thanks to the great success of the film, Spielberg is founding the 'Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation and the production of historical documentaries such as 'The Lost Children of Berlin', 'The Last Days, Anne Frank Remembered' etc. Schindler's List was a movie that no one had expected from Spielberg, with his previous production being based on rather sci-fi (Jurassic Park, E.T., Jaws…). It gives us a greater understanding on how this nightmare could have possibly happened by letting us in on the thinking and motivation behind the Nazis' actions.




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