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(Lähes) 20 sivua laatutavaraa SL:stä, ja vieläpä enkuksi, olkaa hyvä! :) * * * * * 1. Introduction rep·re·sent (rep′ri zent ′ ) verb to present or picture to the mind to present a likeness or image of; portray; depict to be a likeness or image of, as a picture or statue may be to present in words; describe, state, or set forth; specif., 1. to set forth forcibly or earnestly, so as to influence action, persuade hearers, make effective protest, etc. 2. to be a sign or symbol for; stand for; symbolize x represents the unknown The Holocaust is the genocide of six million Jews during World War II. The Allies found the Nazis`concentration camps right after the war, thus revealing the atrocities to the entire world. The art world started to discuss the Holocaust at the end of the 1940s. The very first Holocaust film was The Last Stop (1948) by Wanda Jakubowska, which told the true story of a family sent to Auschwitz . Apart from this, very few films on the genocide were made before the 1960s. After the capture and trial in the beginning of the 1960s of SS-officer Adolf Eichmann more filmmakers and artists have started to represent the Holocaust. Eichmann`s trial and the media frenzy around it brought the genocide to the center of the world`s attention. After the trial it was acceptable to talk about the Holocaust, even in countries that had next to nothing to do with the Shoah (for example the United States ). The Holocaust philosopher Hannah Arendt saw in Eichmann Nazi evil at its most typical; she thought that it was banal and that Eichmann was a normal man, who could have lived next door to you. Also popular culture started to see the Shoah as an important topic; a topic that should be discussed and taught in the modern world. It is important for people who never read about it to even hear something about it in school. Which is more important: to represent the Holocaust truthfully or to represent it at all and bring it to people`s attention? Without mainstream representations the Holocaust might be lost forever from the layman`s knowledge (Baron 2005:4). But these mainstream representations are in some countries replacing Holocaust education. In other words, the teacher gives the students a movie to watch or a book to read, without explaining anything about it. This is dangerous, not least because a movie or a book has a limited space; everything about the Holocaust cannot be said in three hours or three hundred pages. Baron thinks that movies have no chance to show to their audience the brokenness and desperation that was the Holocaust (2005:5). But all this must be forgiven, if one wants the Holocaust to stay on the world`s agenda. The Holocaust representations today have been seen to emphasise the survivors and the rescuers. This might be because the time that has passed: these events took place 60 years ago. To the people of today, seeing the rescuers and survivors might just be the only way to face the destruction. 1.1. Introduction to the film and this paper Steven Spielberg`s Schindler`s List (SL) is a Holocaust film that has had a great effect on the way the genocide of the Jews is thought about today (Bernstein 2001:432). It tells the true story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a businessman and a member of the Nazi party, who, by hiring over a thousand Jews in his factory during the war saved them from the concentration camps. Schindler hires Jews at first because their labor is cheaper than that of the Poles. Later on in the film, though, he starts to understand that what he is doing just might have a larger meaning. This is brought to his attention by his Jewish secretary and accountant Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), who has a better idea of the situation then does his boss. Listening to Stern`s suggestion, Schindler decides to buy more workers, understanding the gravity of the situation: Schindler : What do you want me to do about it? Stern : Nothing, nothing, we`re just talking. Schindler [pulls out a slip of paper]: Perlman. At the same time, Schindler is playing a game of power with the commandant of the Plaszow labor camp, Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes). Goeth and Schindler become friends, and because of this friendship Schindler wins the trust of the commandant and is thus capable of buying more and more workers from him. In the course of the film, Schindler changes into a savior and a man, to whom money and production are secondary; the most important thing is the saving of human lives. Stern also grows a liking of Schindler and learns to trust him. In the end if the film, Schindler founds his own factory in Brinnlitz, where he also gathers all the 1100 people he rescued. Ultimately, the hero flees from the factory with his wife after saying goodbye to his workers and Stern and apologising for not have done more. The end of the film has been the topic of much heated discussion. Scholars think the last 15 minutes of the film could have been left out alltogether. The crying Oskar who leaves the factory, is, according to Tim Cole (2000:80), very different to the Oskar we see troughout the whole film. The savior, fleeing from the scene with his wife, is thus made into an icon, and the director is preparing us for the final scene, in which Schindler`s grave has become a place of pilgrimage. Omer Bartov (1997:45) thinks this scene, with the song Golden Jerusalem in the background, has nothing to do with the film itself. Bartov also remarks about the fact that in the version of the film showed in Israel, the song was changed into partisan-turned-saint Hannah Senesh`s Eli, Eli , because Golden Jerusalem was thought to equate the Holocaust with the victory of the Six Day War. Those that thought the film was too Hollywood-like also got some consolidation from the changing of the music: now there was something in SL that was Jewish. It has also been argued that the end of the film gives a wrong impression about the survivors of the Holocaust; most of them had no home to go to. My research subject is the image that SL gives about the Holocaust and history. The film has been the subject of a lot of research. The most important book on the film itself is Spielberg`s Holocaust: Critical Perspectives on Schindler`s List (1997), edited by Yoshefa Loshitzky, in which scholars of many different subjects discuss the film from their own points of view. The Holocaust scholar Tim Cole has, in his book Selling the Holocaust (2000), written about the genocide that Spielberg chooses to show us. In addition, I have used many articles from different academic publications. Articles about SL have also been published in the book Oskar Schindler and His List (1995). 2. The debate on Schindler`s List Holocaust representations always invoke strong feelings. SL raised many opinions because it was the first blockbuster about the Holocaust and because it was directed by a man who only a couple of years back gave us Jurassic Park . The reactions were strong both among Holocaust scholars and the general public. Critics around the world were afraid that Schindler`s List would be the prime representation of the Shoah to most Americans. Tim Cole (2000:75) fears that the effect the film has on people will be so great, that it would turn into reality in people`s minds. The effect SL had on people was great, but reactions to it varied a lot. The reactions to SL were more powerful than the reactions to other Holocaust films, partly because the publicity built around it even before the premiere. There was nothing in SL that wasn`t criticised: both Holocaust scholars and movie critics disliked the directing, the acting, the cinematography and Spielberg`s decision to film in black and white. Schindler`s List was also seen as the directors` crucible and his first "serious" film. Spielberg`s attempt to fit the horrors of the Holocaust in three and a half hours have succeeded in a debatable way. Tim Cole (2000:78) calls the film "the Hollywood Holocaust" and says that it has turned everything upside down: nobody dies, the Germans are not evil and people are good at heart. To some, SL has become proof of the Holocaust actually taking place; people have learned a lot from Spielberg`s film. 2.1. The general conversation Schindler`s List is a Hollywood movie. It is about the battle between good and evil, where ultimately evil is conquered. Thus, SL does not differ much from Spielberg`s other films. The suffering of the Jews is seen as not important to the plot; the plot is about Schindler changing from a cheating womanizer to a Christlike figure and about the battle of power between the two main protagonists, Schindler and Goeth. In his film Spielberg uses the classic horror frame (Picart & Frank 2006:38), in which evil and especially the evil of Nazism is represented as otherness. In this frame, evil is always abnormal; the scenes where evil are present are almost like from a different film (Picart & Frank 2006:6). Amon Goeth embodies exactly this type of evil, which is very different than what Hannah Arendt saw in the case of Eichmann. Schindler, on the other hand is both a very typical and an atypical hero for a Hollywood film. He is a capitalist and a womanizer, who becomes a do-gooder in the course of the film. He also has the power to stop the industrial destruction that was typical to the Holocaust. When SL had its premiere, it raised a lot of conversation as well as critique. Critics saw it as both the movie of the century and as a very big mistake. Why and how would Spielberg represent the genocide by means of popular culture? Spielberg had no responsibility as a Holocaust educator and he had artistic freedom, just like all other artists. But there was a fear among scholars that SL would change into a documentary in people`s minds and would supersede real, historical evidence (Cole 2000:75). The director contended he had "experienced the events of the film just like any victim or witness, and I did not feel like I was making a film" (Zelizer 1997:23). Zelizer (ibid.) says that SL did not need to be so much like a documentary, because films are meant to represent and not mirror historical events. Some scholars had the opinion that Spielberg had a too Hollywoodlike way of directing this film. His decision to show the Holocaust trough the eyes of a (Nazi)benefactor and to represent one of the darkest moments in human history as a story with a happy ending, raised very strong objections. Spielberg`s starting point was to make a film that would be very close to a documentary and by choosing a story where the victims survive, he wasn`t, according to some critics, true to historical facts. The film also has blatant contradictions: selection means life, getting aboard a train means going to safety and in the shower room, there is water in stead of gas (Eley & Grossman 2001:49). Spielberg thus turned around every association people have about the Holocaust. Spielberg chose to tell of the Nazi genocide through a very exceptional story. Many critics have blamed Spielberg for emphasising the wrong things and not taking a stance on the questions that the Holocaust raised (Shandler 1997: 160). Rescue is also a salient theme in the film, although some critics argued that the film represents the victims (=the Jews) as helpless and involuntary. Some thought that the Jews in SL are "straight from the pages of Der Sturmer [a highly antisemitic publication in the Third Reich]" (Philip Gourevitch, Commentary 2/1994). This critique is largely based on the scenes in which Jewish life in the ghetto is shown (the most prominent example being the hiding of jewels into bread). In addition, in the scene in the beginning of the film in which Schindler negotiates with two Jewish men about the financing of his factory, the men are seen to be straight out of a Nazi propaganda poster. Eley & Grossman (2001:55) note that Spielberg has omitted a lot from his film, especially the activity of the Jewish resistance movement and other things that would represent the Jews as active agents. The treatment in the camps of Jewish women, as opposed to men, is also omitted almost altogether. The factory scenes, according to Eley & Grossman (2001:58), show the Jews as "the children of the great white father [Schindler]" and only make them the main protagonists of the scene from time to time. Schindler and his heroism is the main point of these scenes. Schindler himself has been seen as a Christ-like figure who always knows if somebody is in danger and who runs to the rescue. Cole argues that Spielberg shows his main protagonist not only as a physical, but also a spiritual rescuer: he tells the Jews in his factory to get ready for the sabbath (2000:80). Schindler also keeps referring to the Jews as "my people" (Horowitz 1997: 125). 2.1. Particular debate on the film SL has received most of its critique from the fact that Spielberg`s way of representing history was so real. This is because of Spielberg`s use of hand-held camera and the film being shot in black and white. The Holocaust is black and white for most people, mostly because of the material the Allies filmed after the liberation of the camps. SL situates us in this same context, as if it was filmed during the war, not 1993 (Eley & Grossman 1997: 47). Scholars started to fear that film and reality would mix. Spielberg`s talk about the film being a documentary and the director himself being a witness only added to this fear. The plot of the film has been strongly criticised for years. By deciding to tell such an atypical Holocaust story Spielberg did not deal with the desperation, the evil and the destruction connected with the genocide. Tim Cole (2000:90) argues that the world needs heroes to deal with the Holocaust in popular culture. One cannot face ultimate desperation without some light at the end of the tunnel. In SL, Schindler offers us such a light. What is wrong with this, though, is that the Holocaust had no light or hope, it was about nothing else than evil and destruction. Yet Hollywood has created a Holocaust in which surviving is possible. Cole asserts that it is understandable for Spielberg not to actually show us the destruction, but what he does show could be more realistic. According to Cole, the Holocaust in Spielberg`s film is different than the Holocaust of history (2000:76). The fact that the film is black and white must be interpreted as an attempt from the director to show the public a documentary, not a film (Horowitz 1997:122). Spielberg has himself explicitly said this. Holocaust films should however show humility in front of their subject. Leon Wieseltier (The New Republic, 24.1.1994) asserts that Spielberg has no difficulty with his subject, although he should. The movie does not stop when facing the inconceivable; on the contrary, it follows the victims straight into the gas chamber. Scholars say that with his film Spielberg wants to represent the Holocaust as an event in which the deeds of one man make a difference. In other words he represents the Holocaust as something it was not. Hansen (1997:80) says that Spielberg has the wrong starting point: SL is a product of popular culture and as such already popularizes the Shoah. The film is based on a half-fictional book and thus cannot be a movie about "the whole Holocaust" (ibid.), although Spielberg often called SL " the Holocaust movie". Stereotypes in the film have also been a subject of conversation. Scholars have agreed on the film representing the Jews as helpless victims or greedy businessmen (for example the scene in which Schindler buys clothes from the Jewish men in church). Who should the viewer identify with? Evil is also very stereotypical in SL. Amon Goeth is evil personified. Critics have argued that this represents Nazi evil as something it wasn`t: Jew-hating, aggressive monstrosity. Goeth is the center of attention in many scenes and the collective gaze of the audience is pointed straight at him. Spielberg sexualises Goeth so much that his evil is left somewhere in the background. Schindler and Goeth are thus equated also on the level of sexuality. A large number of scholars (among others Cole 2000:84) agree that the type of evil that Goeth symbolises is not appropriate for a Holocaust film. The evil of the Holocaust was not randomly shooting people from a balcony; it was banal and industrial. By showing Goeth as sadistic and psychotic Spielberg thus represents the typical Nazi wrong. On the other hand, the self-pitying, aggressive Goeth might also create sympathy (Hartman 1997:62). The film represents Goeth`s evil through power, and ultimately, sexuality (Horowitz 1997: 130). Much attention has been given to the scene in which Goeth shoots inmates from his balcony in the morning. According to Tim Cole this showing of Goeth as monstrous is part of the American ethos: we are not like that, we are like Schindler (2000:84). The truth, though, was that the perpetrators of the Holocaust were not psychopats. In the film, Goeth is supposed to embody all Nazi evil, although we see other Nazis from time to time. When Schindler is making the list, he suggests co-operation to a fellow party member, but the man is not interested. These other Nazis do have a place in the film; critics remind us time and again that Schindler was also a Nazi. SL never shows the actual destruction, the killing of Jews in gas chambers. The line between what can be shown and what can`t is very thin. The conventions of Holocaust art include an unwritten agreement about not showing the actual murders; this is considered sacriledge. In Spielberg`s film, though, there is a scene which has become the most criticised. When the women on the list are by mistake taken to Auschwitz , they are sent to a room resembling a gas chamber. The scene ends with water coming out of the showers in stead of gas and the women cry and laugh relieved. Spielberg`s film has a lot to do with the destinies of individuals. The people that we, as an audience, have an emotional bond with, survive. This fact has caused much conversation about the sense of representing the Holocaust in popular culture (Cole 2000:77-78). A film needs a hero and the victims that the hero saves. The question is much larger than just that of Schindler`s List, but it must be said that it is the first blockbuster film about the Holocaust. A movie cannot be made without main characters - the critique has rather pointed out the qualities of the main characters in SL. Both men are very stereotypical and their friendship is the type seen in most Hollywood-films. Watching Schindler`s List, one notices that the conventions in the film are very strongly present. The main protagonists are stereotypical (good and evil), the plot is very classic and evil is defeated in the end. Can the Holocaust be packed into three and a half hours? Most of the critique SL received was about the story through which the director decided to tell about the Shoah. Spielberg`s own comments also caused anger. The director said that his meaning, when filming SL, was to find "his roots" and "his own Jewishness" and that he had filmed the movie like "any other victim or witness would have". In interviews Spielberg emphasised his own Jewishness and said that SL has strengthened his faith. He wanted to tell the truth about the Holocaust, but critics attacked him specifically for not doing this: SL is about those who did not have to suffer at the hands of the Germans, those who survived. Spielberg also wanted this film to help decrease problems such as racism and discrimination all over the world. Critics have wondered how a film which doesn`t show the real nature of the Holocaust could do this. According to most survivors Spielberg took too many liberties in showing a Holocaust in which one man rescues so many lives. Others thought that Schindler`s story was a perfect way of telling the public about the events of the genocide. The fear of Spielberg just being Spielberg again is evident in most critics` writing. Scott Rosenberg says in the San Francisco Examiner (15.12.1993) that the final scenes in the movie are very emotional and thus very Spielberg-like. Showing mountains of bodies and heaps of glasses taken from the victims is typical to all sorts of Holocaust representations. The main point of Schindler`s List is, in spite of all, Schindler`s persona. Hartman (1997:62) writes that the tempo of the film is close to that of an action-movie : SL does not leave room for emotions but charges on to the next scene. Even in the scenes with the strongest symbolism the main focus is in the dialogue between Schindler and Goeth or Stern, and the inconceivability of the Holocaust is ignored. Symbolism is one of the most distinctive traits of the film. Even in scenes where the plot hurries forward, the symbols remind us of where we are. 3. The characters 3.1. Goodness in Schindler`s List as represented in Oskar Schindler SL is the story of one man: Oskar Schindler. He is a businessman whose economy profits from the war. In the beginning of the film Schindler is an opportunist who hires Jews only because he will not have to pay them as much as he would have to pay Poles. But in the course of the film Schindler becomes a benefactor, a classic savior (Hansen 1997:80). The fact that he is German shouldn`t matter; SL is a universal story about good and evil. This is manifested in a scene where Schindler is interviewing Stern for the accountant job: Stern : Law requires me to tell you, sir, that I am a Jew. Schindler : And I am a German. So there we are. But Schindler is still German, and some critics want to see a greater meaning in this. Spielberg wants to show us that there were also good Germans, that there was hope in the Holocaust (Weissberg 1997: 178). The "Good German-theme" has been prevalent in Holocaust films during the last 10 years. When SL had its premiere in 1993, people thought that Schindler was a good man that just happened to belong to the Nazi party. During the premiere week, German magazines were full of stories about other war-time heroes. SL was very important to the Germans when they started to build their post-war identity. Especially Schindler-Neeson became to the Germans a symbol of heroism and goodness during the war. Germany has had a hard time living with its Nazi past, and representations of that past, for example films, may be of great help when trying to cope with this past. But one must remember that Schindler was not a perfect hero, but a womanizer and an alcoholic (Eley & Grossmann 1997:52) who gradually during the film becomes a good man. Schindler finds the good man inside him in the scene where the ghetto is being destroyed and he notices the girl in the red jacket. He realizes that he could use his money for something other than himself. Schindler is very self-confident and proud but also very positive and energetic. He, unlike other Nazis, does not judge people. When watching the film one has at times a very hard time in believing that Schindler is real. Some critics say that Schindler is actually very unsure of himself; he would not manage without his staff who actually run everything about his businesses. Eley and Grossmann (2001:53) see Stern as Schindler`s loving and compassionate wife, without him, Schindler couldn`t manage. Stern takes care of everything in the factory and otherwise; the accounting, the paperwork and the recruiting of the workforce. Stern is also the one who invents the idea of buying workers into the factory. Stern gives his boss the chance of becoming the hero but at the same time does all the work for him. Stern is very wise and clever, but without Schindler and his money and power this cleverness wouldn`t do much good (Gilman 1998: 74). At the end of the movie we see a very weak hero. Leaving his factory, Schindler receives a ring the workers have made him and breaks down in Stern`s arms, realizing that he could have done more. The scene has been seen as too emotional: the real-life Schindler escaped the factory at night when all others were asleep (Bartov 1997:45). The Schindler of the movie was criticised for many other things. Realising what is happening to the Jews, the real-life Schindler quit publicly from the Nazi party. The Schindler in the film does not: he is both a Nazi and good (Mintz 2001: 143). 3.2. Evil in Schindler`s List as represented in Amon Goeth As I have already mentioned, evil in Schindler`s List is very stereotypical. As portrayed by Ralph Fiennes, Amon Goeth is a psychotic and sadistic personification of evil. Goeth is presented to us only in the second half of the film when he is driven around in the ghetto. Goeth captivates the whole scene. In the second half of the film, Goeth is sexualised to the extent that his monstrosity is almost alltogether ignored. The commandant embodies a very different evil than that of Adolf Eichmann as seen by Arendt (see chapter 1). Tim Cole (2000:83) says that Goeth is pretty impossible to identify with: the whole public identifies with Schindler. On the other hand there is scenes, like this one, in which there seems to be more to Goeth. Schindler tells Stern about his friend: Schindler : You have to think of it in his situation. He's got this whole place to run, he's responsible for everything that goes on here, all these people - he's got a lot of things to worry about. And he's got the war. Which brings out the worst in people. Never the good, always the bad. Always the bad. But in normal circumstances, he wouldn't be like this. He'd be all right. There'd just be the good aspects of him - which - he's a wonderful crook. A man who loves good food, good wine, the ladies, making money... Why does Spielberg make Goeth the personification of evil, if he essentially didn`t want to? The reason that Goeth and Schindler become good friends is in my opinion that they are similar: they love good food, wine and beautiful women, but they also have an inconceivable amount of stress because of the war. Goeth is unsure of himself and he takes out his bad feelings on trying to be evil. Schindler on the other hand acts overly self-confident. Goeth is attracted to his Jewish servant Helen Hirsch, but he cannot do anything about it. Goeth is supposed to hate her because of her Jewishness. The commandant hides his frustration by being violent towards Helen - in this scene one can almost touch Goeth`s depression and desperation. When one sees this scene one understands that Goeth is not evil through and trough, although Spielberg has tried to portray him as such. 4. Representing the Holocaust: analysis on a few scenes Schindler`s List tells only one story about the Holocaust. Still, it cannot escape the fact that it is about the whole series of events; it is about everything the Holocaust was. But does the film have educational responsibility? Cole (2000:73) reminds us that when SL had its premiere in the United States , president Clinton along with many other public figures recommended seeing SL to everybody. In addition, Spielberg spoke much about how seeing this film would help abolish racism and other problems. So the film was seen to have some sort of magic; whoever saw it, became a better person. The TV premiere of Schindler`s List was decided to show without commercials, partly because the objections raised by commercials during the miniseries Holocaust in the 1980s. SL`s TV premiere was seen by over 65 million Americans. Cole asserts that SL became the number one reference point on the genocide overnight (2000:74). It was representing the events to those that had not experienced it or who didn`t know anybody who had. The medium of motion picture sets limits to representation. Spielberg`s film has scenes that represent the Holocaust more than others, and it is to these scenes I now turn. Schindler`s List is a very symbolical film. The Holocaust is symbolised through smoke and ashes among other things. The main plot, though, is moving forward all the time with Schindler and the people he saves, and the desperation and pain of the Holocaust is often left in the background. The symbolism is very strong for example in the scene in which Schindler saves Stern from the train. After the men have left, the camera shows us innumerous photographs, other personal items and glasses that the victims have left behind. We also see gold teeth and jewels sorted out by workers. SL is a very character-centered film, which lifts only a few people (Schindler, Stern and Goeth) to the foreground, leaving others in the background. Cole (2000:77) thinks that upon leaving the cinema, the members of the audience were filled with relief because SL has just showed them that people are in the end good at heart. Schindler is in control of the situation at all times; sometimes so much that he seems to be in control of the Holocaust. To all the scenes in which the Schindler Jews are in danger, there is a counter-scene in which the hero saves those in danger. Schindler is thus shown as an omnipotent, Christ-like savior, to whom no situation is too difficult to handle. The movie shows as opposites the evil of the Holocaust and the goodness of one man (Schindler). Spielberg`s decision to not show the actual gassing is very understandable, but most critics were very disappointed with the shower scene. In this scene, the women on the list are by accident taken to Auschwitz . There they are lead to a room very much resembling a gas chamber. In a few minutes, water starts running out of the shower heads and the women cry with joy. What makes this scene even more shocking is the fact that in the Holocaust of history, the gas chamber doors had signs saying "Bad und Desinfektion" so that the victims did not suspect anything upon entering the room. This scene can be taken as Spielberg`s attempt to scare the viewers (Is he really going to show us everything?) but also as very inapproppriate bearing in mind the horrors of the gas chamber. Horowitz (1997:129) sees the shower scene eroticizing the female victims. She also says that the shower scene is very close to Holocaust denial (ibid.). Some critics, on the other hand, praised the director because of this scene; it showed that Spielberg had no fear. A bit before the shower scene we see some women in the barracks going to bed. They start talking about the rumors they have heard about people being gassed in some camps. The women console each other by saying that they are only horror stories and fall asleep. This scene must be remembered when watching the shower scene: it shows that the women were right, there is no gas, only water (Horowitz 1997:128). The question is not about people not knowing what really happened in history, it is about the director`s decision to represent a gas chamber as a shower. On the other hand, as already mentioned, Spielberg got a great amount of praise for showing this much, for showing more than anybody has before. The angles in the shower scene are also interesting: the camera looks through the loophole in the door, thus identifying the viewer with whoever is closing the door. Additionally, the camera goes around in the room as if the viewer was in the chamber, walking around. This is the only scene were the audience is invited to look at the events from some other point of view than Schindler`s. An other scene I would like to analyze is the one where Goeth is at the Plaszow station guarding a parting train. Schindler appears and after talking to his friend starts to hose down the train carts with water. In this scene the Jews are again shown as a nameless mass, totally at the hands of the Germans. The scene is also exceptionally humoristic. When Schindler gives water to the dying people, Goeth states the obvious: Goeth : That`s cruel, Oskar. You`re giving them hope. What he means is that those already aboard the train have no more hope of surviving. It is these kinds of small things the director uses to bring forward the horrors of the Shoah. Having said that, it must be also noted that this scene is very humoristic compared to the rest of the film. The only one not laughing is Stern, standing further away, witnessing the destruction of his own people. It is through Stern`s eyes that the viewer, in this scene, sees what the Holocaust was about, although the train scene is once again only about Schindler and Goeth and their friendship. The viewer starts to understand that the two men have really become good friends, despite their different worldviews. 5. Conclusions I have researched Schindler`s List as a representation of the Holocaust. SL tells the story of the genocide through two men. I conclude that SL represents the Holocaust very symbolically and it emphasises its two main protagonists, Schindler and Goeth. The former is shown as an omnipotent savior; the latter a psychopatic killer. Tim Cole (2000:89) writes that the accentuation of the rescuers and the survivors is part of a greater phenomenon in 21st century Holocaust education. Amon Goeth is in the film the prototypical nazi, unhuman and purely evil. To those scenes in the film, in which the Schindler Jews are in danger, there is always a counter-scene, in which Schindler comes to the rescue and saves those that need him. One of the most distinctive traits of the film is the plot, which moves forward at high speed, not stopping to let the audience think about what they have just witnessed. The critique the film received was diverse - the writers saw deficiencies in all aspects of Schindler`s List - the way it did not face the Holocaust, the shooting of the film in black and white and the stereotypical traits of the main characters. Spielberg was not seen as having the same artistic freedom as he did with his other films. SL was seen - wanted Spielberg or not- as an educational picture, and because of this, some of the decisions the director made caused strong counter-opinions. Spielberg`s film is very symbolical. The director uses conventional symbols of the Holocaust: glasses, photographs, ashes and smoke to remind the viewer where he is. One strong symbol is also the fact that the film is not in color. This fact also caused complaints - with not filming in color, Spielberg placed himself as a Holocaust authority - something he just blatantly was not. Some scholars loved the film. They thought it told everything about the Holocaust and its horrors and it was a good way of reminding the people of the world that they should never forget. As a Holocaust scholar, one finds it hard to evaluate the critique caused by the film, or, by extension, the film itself. The most important thing about SL is in my opinion the responsibility that comes with showing it, for example in schools when the Holocaust is being taught. After all, it is just a film.
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