Schindler's List, The Pianist, and Life is Beautiful, each provide different perspectives on the holocaust, and each explores in its own way the themes of alienation, desire, faith and belief, and redemption.
Due to the nature of the holocaust, certain themes, particularly alienation, are inherent in it. Certainly alienation is one of the strongest themes of each of the three examined films and of the holocaust itself. Each film represents the alienating effects of the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps, where Jews were segregated and killed by the thousands. In a particularly effective scene from Schindler's List, Jewish families are forced from their homes and transferred to a segregated ghetto, as Schindler is moved into one of the fashionable and newly vacated apartments. The oppressive nature of the force involved only serves to accent the alienation, as does the parallel of Schindler moving in when the family is moving out, to cries of "Goodbye Jews". Each film in this holocaust trilogy has scenes where the alienation is seen on a macro-scale, however, each film also presents alienation on a more personal micro-level as well. The alienation between Schindler and his estranged wife, the alienation between the family unit of Guido, Dora, and Joshua in Life is Beautiful, and the alienation of Szpilman from his family, friends and peers in The Pianist. Each film is successful in depicting the alienation involved in the holocaust. Indeed, that sense of alienation, the organization of oppression against such a large number of a particular people, is the driving force behind these holocaust movies. It is through examining the depravity of the alienation of the holocaust, in how absolutely despicable and detestable it was, that the filmmakers communicate the heartbreaking emotional impact of the historical event.
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