Wednesday, June 24, 2015

23: Schindler's List

Well, this blows away the arguments about a film making this list because it's fun or because you want to watch it over and over. I've seen Schindler's List twice in my life, and that's one time too many. But everyone, everyone needs to see it once.

The direction and the story is, of course, very strong - award-winning strong. And those two elements combine powerfully to produce something that can only be described as heavy, a weight on your shoulders that will re-emerge and burden you again every time you even think about the movie. There's no real sense of hope here - what Schindler did was amazing, brave and very important, but the backdrop of the reality of the holocaust is such that you know all he did was a drop in the ocean. He was a good man, and that is clearly demonstrated in the film, but the background situation is so insanely evil that even after all these years I find it hard to think about the atrocities depicted in the film, knowing they were not only accurate but probably understated and also within living memory. And that outweighs the good Schindler was able to do, even though he's depicted very fairly. The holocaust is just too much bad.

To be clear, then: Schindler's List is in the Top 40 because of the sheer power of the film. Not in any way because I want to watch it again.

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