Movie Review

Schindler's List

MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexuality and actuality violence.

Reviewed by: W.J. Kimble
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
History Drama Adaptation
Length:
3 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
1993
USA Release:
December 15, 1993
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

sin, depravity and the fall of man

death

holocaust / mass murderer

RACISM—What are the consequences of racial prejudice and false beliefs about the origin of races? Answer

Racism, Racial Issues and Christianity
Get biblical answers to racial hot-topics. Where did the races come from? Why is it important to have a biblical foundation for such issues?

concentration camps

good versus evil

sadistic cruelty / ruthlessness / psychopath

forgiveness

Christ allegory

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

What about the Psalm 91 promises? (“…no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent…”) Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

hope

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
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honor

self transcendence

heroism, courage, self-sacrifice

compassion, mercy

starvation

husband wife relationship

Featuring: Liam NeesonOskar Schindler
Ben KingsleyItzhak Stern
Ralph FiennesAmon Goeth
Caroline Goodall … Emilie Schindler
more »
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Universal Pictures
Amblin Entertainment
Gerald R. Molen … producer
more »
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

While “Schindler’s List” won 7 Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director and Best {adapted} screenplay), and 11 Academy Award Nominations (including Best Actor-Liam Neeson), it is a movie that left this reviewer a little uneasy. Steven Spielberg takes the grim reality of the Holocaust and portrays it as ghastly and realistic as anyone could expect. There are savage scenes of random, cruel slaughter that would make the young very squeamish (or most anyone). The very nature of the Holocaust requires that such graphic violence be portrayed and I was not offended by it. I do believe, however, that as godly parents we need to be careful that we do not expose our children to issues they are not ready to handle. The Holocaust and its violence can be too much for young minds. What really disturbs me about this movie is the unnecessary and flagrant nude scenes, which Spielberg seems to throw in at the most inappropriate times. One such scene has Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson, “Rob Roy”) in bed, with his wife (Caroline Goodall, “White Squall”), in the act of sex. Leaving little to the imagination, this scene is so offensive that one could easily consider it soft porn. There are scenes, which contain relative nudity and are essential to the content of the film; but this scene, and two others, have no bearing on the movie at all! There is full frontal male and female nudity and the vulgarity is prolific.

“Schindler’s List” is based on the 1982 biographical novel by Thomas Keneally. It is structured around the imposing, Nazi-Catholic industrialist, Oskar Schindler, whose suave, sophisticated lifestyle wins over the Nazi elite; which, subsequently, enables him to acquire tremendous wealth by using Polish Jews as unpaid laborers. While he is motivated by greed and lust for high living, Oskar, after having seen the slow methodical extermination of the Jews in Krakow, becomes sympathetic to their cause and begins to systematically buy everyone he can to work in his factory. Along with the help of Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley, “The Assignment”), Oskar is able to teach the Jews a trade that eventually saves their lives.

In one of the film’s most touching scenes, Oskar goes to Auschwitz and fights for the freedom of his employees. Determined to save all that he can, he risks his life by valiantly talking the authorities out of exterminating them. Triumphantly, they march back to the factory, knowing that their lives have been spared. By 1945, Oskar Schindler was able to save over 1,000 men, women and children. In his honor, Spielberg films the actual people, who were saved by Schindler, as they pass by the grave of their hero. We are then told that the descendants of these Jews total 6,000.

Many of the scenes were actually filmed on location, including Schindler’s original factory and the gates of Auschwitz. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski does a superb job of filming and Steven Zaillian skillfully constructed the screenplay. Even so, be forewarned, this is not a family film!

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
This an excellent film and an accurate portrayal of the Holocaust. You cannot change the Holocaust around to make it a happy, G-rated film. The Holocaust was a sad, dark event. The scenes of violence and nudity were relevant to this film. The brilliant director, Steven Spielberg, chose to show mild scenes from the Holocaust. I have seen a lot worse things. And the reason the film didn’t show any of the other groups persecuted was because Oskar Schindler saved Jews, so it was probably unnecessary to show or mention the other groups. And also because the fact that Jews were the main group targeted. The nudity was important, too. In the scene of the selection in the concentration camp, the nudity was necessary to make an accurate portrayal and the sexual scenes were there to show that Schindler was a womanizer… This film is one of the greatest motion pictures ever made and everyone should watch it.
—Vicente Salazar, age 15
Actually, this movie gets it R rating for the fact that the Holocaust itself is rated R. Having studied the History of Modern Israel and the Holocaust what took place in this movie is true. I watched this at a Christian college and NO scenes were removed, based on the professor’s premise that the Holocaust is rated R. While it’s a movie for mature audiences, the viewer shouldn’t fast forward through any scene. They’ll miss something if they do. By far Spielberg’s best movie and one of the best films ever made. While it may be a stretch I would give this a Christian rating of 3—only because it’s accurate and not a glorification of perversion. To many Holocaust films shy from the truth. That’s sad, because it is one of the most significant events in the 20th century. Watch this movie, watch it carefully, and see what you learn from it—the nudity has a part in this film.
—Brian McClimans
This is not a happy movie, or a feel good hit. It is a moving story of one light in the darkness of WWII Germany. It shows the depths to which humanity can sink without God… I recommend this movie, but with warnings. It contains nudity; shows violence of a graphic nature; and the subject matter is about one of the most heinous times in recent history. However, it is all in the telling of this true story; a story that should be told. Definitely not a film for children.
—Ryan Stucker, age 23

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