Film Paper: Schindlers List

Topics: Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler, Poldek Pfefferberg Pages: 4 (1435 words) Published: November 27, 2005
"To refuse life is a sin; it's stupid and mad. You have to accept life, cherish it, love it, fight for it as if it were a treasure, a woman, a secret happiness." -Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor/writer

In 1994, Steven Spielberg created a film that represented a metaphorical backdrop for the corruptive madness and folly of war, and its effects which nearly destroyed an entire people's existence. Schindler's List presents how one man's selfish dream of riches and fame, unknowingly saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the period of Nazi rule. This film is the true story, structured around Oskar Schindler, of a man's will, determination, and transformation during a time of hate and war.

Although there are many beautifully layered and revealing scenes in this movie, I will only highlight a few. The first of which is set between Poldek Pfefferberg and Helen Hirsch, in the basement wine cellar where she sleeps. We can hear the distant sound of a woman singing to the rhythm of the violin, although the sound of water dripping becomes more dominating as Pfefferberg walks down the stairs and we see Helen standing stiff with her clothes and hair soaked. Helens fearful silence and Pfefferberg's nervous pacing are great indications of their characters; while Helen is just trying to do anything she can stay alive and deal with the chaos around her, Pfefferberg is a weak and troubled alcoholic who is in love with his own hatred. There is a dark shadow cast on both their faces indicating uncertainty and confusion in the scene, a theme which is dominant throughout the film. We can see the camera shooting up at Pfefferberg throughout this scene, indicating his role as the antagonist. Similarly, Helen is shot from her back and over her shoulder, showing her to be the victim, while at the same time we are getting a sense of her subjective point of view. Chiaroscuro lighting effects are used, emphasizing the good and bad sides to their characters. Also it is...
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