In SchindlerĂs List, Spielberg coaxes us to recognize our individual responsibility to prevent such atrocities like the Holocaust through the redemptive story of Oskar Schindler. SchindlerĂs munitions employees have a chance to escape the Nazi death machines. The film often contrasts images of the worst inhumanity and brutality with those of overwhelming compassion and morality. At one point, when the brutal commandant Amon Goeth orders a Jew shot, the woman pleas, ˘IĂm only trying to do my job!÷ (Spielberg). Goeth immediately replies without human compassion, ˘Ja, IĂm doing mine÷ (Spielberg). Contrasted with such scenes are the compassion of men like Itzhak Stern and Schindler, who both risk their lives to help others. At one point Schindler tries to impart a degree of humanity and morality to the evil Goeth, ˘Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we donĂt÷ (Spielberg). Such contrasting depictions of the human capacity for both good and evil are meant to reinforce that it is individual choice to act on good or evil.
In the midst of this pastoral setting, we will see emerge the grisly events of the Nazi death camps. By reminding us with visual imagery that peace and stability can quickly be transformed into brutality and chaos, the director is coaxing us to remain aware of such capacities. That many did not during the Holocaust helped Hitler implement his ˘Final Solution.÷ The strong narration in the film is provided by Michael Bouquet, with dialogue based on the memoirs of Holocaust survivor Jean Cayrol. BouquetĂs narration reinforces ResnaisĂ message to remain aware; ˘An ordinary village for vacationers¨with a marketplace and a steeple¨can lead all too easily to a concentration camp.÷
Spielberg, S. (Director). SchindlerĂs List, (Film). USA, 194 min: 1993.
In sum, it is apparent that though Resnais and Spielberg use much different techniques and approaches in their respective accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, the aim of