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Schindler's List is a American epic historical period drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. The film follows Oskar Schindler , a Sudeten German businessman, who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II. Ideas for a film about the Schindlerjuden Schindler Jews were proposed as early as Poldek Pfefferberg , one of the Schindlerjuden , made it his life's mission to tell the story of Schindler.
Spielberg became interested in the story when executive Sidney Sheinberg sent him a book review of Schindler's Ark.
Universal Pictures bought the rights to the novel, but Spielberg, unsure if he was ready to make a film about the Holocaust, tried to pass the project to several other directors before finally deciding to direct the film himself. Spielberg shot the film in black and white and approached it as a documentary. John Williams composed the score, and violinist Itzhak Perlman performs the film's main theme. Schindler's List premiered on November 30, , in Washington, D.
In , the American Film Institute ranked the film 8th on its list of the best American films of all time. Oskar Schindler , an ethnic German from Czechoslovakia , arrives in the city hoping to make his fortune. A member of the Nazi Party , Schindler lavishes bribes on Wehrmacht German armed forces and SS officials and acquires a factory to produce enamelware.
To help him run the business, Schindler enlists the aid of Itzhak Stern , a local Jewish official who has contacts with black marketeers and the Jewish business community. Stern helps Schindler arrange financing for the factory. Schindler maintains friendly relations with the Nazis and enjoys wealth and status as "Herr Direktor", and Stern handles administration. Schindler hires Jewish workers because they cost less, while Stern ensures that as many people as possible are deemed essential to the German war effort, which saves them from being transported to concentration camps or killed.
When the camp is completed, he orders the ghetto liquidated. Many people are shot and killed in the process of emptying the ghetto. Schindler witnesses the massacre and is profoundly affected. He particularly notices a young girl in a red coat as she hides from the Nazis, and later sees her body among a wagonload of corpses. As time passes, Schindler's focus shifts from making money to trying to save as many lives as possible.
Schindler and Stern create "Schindler's List" — a list of about people to be transferred to Brinnlitz and thus saved from transport to Auschwitz. At the new factory, Schindler forbids the SS guards from entering the factory floor and encourages the Jews to observe the Jewish Sabbath. Over the next seven months, he spends much of his fortune bribing Nazi officials and buying shell casings from other companies; due to Schindler's own machinations, the factory does not produce any usable armaments during this period.
Schindler runs out of money in , just as Germany surrenders, ending the war in Europe. As a Nazi Party member and war profiteer, Schindler must flee the advancing Red Army to avoid capture. The SS guards in Schindler's factory have been ordered to kill the Jewish workforce, but Schindler persuades them not to, so that they can "return to [their] families as men, instead of murderers.
The workers give Schindler a signed statement attesting to his role in saving Jewish lives and present him with a ring engraved with a Talmudic quotation: As the Schindlerjuden wake up the next morning, a Soviet soldier arrives to announce that they have been liberated. The Jews leave the factory and walk to a nearby town. Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden , made it his life's mission to tell the story of his savior. Spielberg, astounded by Schindler's story, jokingly asked if it was true.
Spielberg was unsure if he was mature enough to make a film about the Holocaust, and the project remained "on [his] guilty conscience". Spielberg also offered the film to Sydney Pollack and Martin Scorsese , who was attached to direct Schindler's List in However, Spielberg was unsure of letting Scorsese direct the film, as "I'd given away a chance to do something for my children and family about the Holocaust.
Spielberg finally decided to take on the project when he noticed that Holocaust deniers were being given serious consideration by the media. With the rise of neo-Nazism after the fall of the Berlin Wall , he worried that people were too accepting of intolerance, as they were in the s.
In , Keneally was hired to adapt his book, and he turned in a page script. His adaptation focused on Schindler's numerous relationships, and Keneally admitted he did not compress the story enough. Spielberg hired Kurt Luedtke , who had adapted the screenplay of Out of Africa , to write the next draft.
Luedtke gave up almost four years later, as he found Schindler's change of heart too unbelievable. When he was handed back the project, Spielberg found Zaillian's page draft too short, and asked him to extend it to pages. Spielberg wanted more focus on the Jews in the story, and he wanted Schindler's transition to be gradual and ambiguous, not a sudden breakthrough or epiphany. He extended the ghetto liquidation sequence, as he "felt very strongly that the sequence had to be almost unwatchable.
Neeson auditioned as Schindler early on, and was cast in December , after Spielberg saw him perform in Anna Christie on Broadway. Spielberg said of Fiennes' audition that "I saw sexual evil. It is all about subtlety: In portraying him, Fiennes said "I got close to his pain. Inside him is a fractured, miserable human being.
I feel split about him, sorry for him. He's like some dirty, battered doll I was given and that I came to feel peculiarly attached to. Overall, there are speaking parts in the film. Thousands of extras were hired during filming. The producers scrambled to find the Schindlerjuden and fly them in to film the scene. A woman who encountered Fiennes in his Nazi uniform told him that "the Germans were charming people.
They didn't kill anybody who didn't deserve it". They put on yarmulkes and opened up Haggadas , and the Israeli actors moved right next to them and began explaining it to them. And this family of actors sat around and race and culture were just left behind. Shooting Schindler's List was deeply emotional for Spielberg, the subject matter forcing him to confront elements of his childhood, such as the antisemitism he faced.
He was surprised that he did not cry while visiting Auschwitz; instead he found himself filled with outrage. He was one of many crew members who could not force themselves to watch during shooting of the scene where aging Jews are forced to run naked while being selected by Nazi doctors to go to Auschwitz. Spielberg occasionally used German and Polish language in scenes to recreate the feeling of being present in the past.
He initially considered making the film entirely in those languages, but decided "there's too much safety in reading. It would have been an excuse to take their eyes off the screen and watch something else. Influenced by the documentary film Shoah , Spielberg decided not to plan the film with storyboards , and to shoot it like a documentary.
Forty percent of the film was shot with handheld cameras, and the modest budget meant the film was shot quickly over seventy-two days. DeMille or David Lean. John Williams, who frequently collaborates with Spielberg, composed the score for Schindler's List.
The composer was amazed by the film, and felt it would be too challenging. He said to Spielberg, "You need a better composer than I am for this film. But they're all dead! In the scene where the ghetto is being liquidated by the Nazis, the folk song " Oyfn Pripetshik " Yiddish: The song was often sung by Spielberg's grandmother, Becky, to her grandchildren.
The film explores the theme of good versus evil, using as its main protagonist a "good German", a popular characterization in American cinema. Later in the film, Schindler sees her dead body, recognizable only by the red coat she is still wearing. Spielberg said the scene was intended to symbolize how members of the highest levels of government in the United States knew the Holocaust was occurring, yet did nothing to stop it. Nothing was being done to slow down Ligocka, unlike her fictional counterpart, survived the Holocaust.
After the film was released, she wrote and published her own story, The Girl in the Red Coat: A Memoir , in translation. The opening scene features a family observing Shabbat. Spielberg said that "to start the film with the candles being lit Only at the end, when Schindler allows his workers to hold Shabbat services, do the images of candle fire regain their warmth.
For Spielberg, they represent "just a glint of color, and a glimmer of hope. The two scenes bracket the Nazi era, marking its beginning and end.
To Spielberg, the black and white presentation of the film came to represent the Holocaust itself: For me the symbol of life is color. That's why a film about the Holocaust has to be in black-and-white. He also notes a parallel between the situation of the Jews in the film and the debate in Nazi Germany between making use of the Jews for slave labor or exterminating them outright.
He notes its presence in the scene where Schindler arranges for a Holocaust train loaded with victims awaiting transport to be hosed down, and the scene in Auschwitz, where the women are given an actual shower instead of receiving the expected gassing. The film opened on December 15, Schindler's List made its U. Shown without commercials, it ranked 3 for the week with a The film aired on public television in Israel on Holocaust Memorial Day in The DVD was released on March 9, in widescreen and fullscreen editions, on a double-sided disc with the feature film beginning on side A and continuing on side B.
Special features include a documentary introduced by Spielberg. Images of the Steven Spielberg Film , all housed in a plexiglass case. Following the success of the film, Spielberg founded the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation , a nonprofit organization with the goal of providing an archive for the filmed testimony of as many survivors of the Holocaust as possible, to save their stories.
He continues to finance that work.
Mommy, after all, did not really look like me. We were all clearly black, of various shades of brown, some light brown, some medium brown, some very light-skinned, and all of us had curly hair. There was something inside me, an ache I had, like a constant itch that got bigger and bigger as I grew, that told me. It was in my blood, you might say, and however the notion got there, it bothered me greatly. Yet Mommy refused to acknowledge her whiteness.
On open school nights, the question most often asked by my schoolteachers was: Yet conflict was a part of our lives, written into our very faces, hands, and arms, and to see how contradiction lived and survived in its essence, we had to look no farther than our own mother. White folks, she felt, were implicitly evil toward blacks, yet she forced us to go to white schools to get the best education.
Blacks could be trusted more, but anything involving blacks was probably slightly substandard. She disliked people with money yet was in constant need of it. I know what it feels like when people laughing at you walking down the street, or snicker when they hear you speaking Yiddish, or just look at you with hate in their eyes.
You were different from everyone and liked by very few. It said that on the deeds and you can look them up. The Jews in Suffolk did stick together, but even among Jews my family was low because we dealt with shvartses. To further escape from painful reality, I created an imaginary world for myself. I believed my true self was a boy who lived in the mirror. He looked just like me. Make faces at him and order him around. Unlike my siblings, he had no opinions.
He would listen to me. I would turn to leave, but when I wheeled around he was always there, waiting for me. I loved my mother yet looked nothing like her. Neither did I look like the role models in my life—my stepfather, my godparents, other relatives—all of whom were black.
And they looked nothing like the other heroes I saw, the guys in the movies, white men like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman who beat the bad guys and in the end got the pretty girl—who, incidentally, was always white. The question of race was like the power of the moon in my house.
Mommy kept us at a frantic living pace that left no time for the problem. My siblings had already instilled the notion of black pride in me. I would have preferred that Mommy were black. Now, as a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two worlds.
My view of the world is not merely that of a black man but that of a black man with something of a Jewish soul. You know, my whole life changed after I fell in love. It was like the sun started shining on me for the first time, and for the first time in my life I began to smile. Then after a while, my period was late. That was a big thing in the South. The color is darker brown at the roots and slips seamlessly into a lighter color — usually blond mid-shaft to tips.
Fans include Sarah Jessica Parker. It's a way to keep your natural dark color and have your blond, too, with almost no upkeep. When you're tired of it, just trim the bottom off. Skin tone changes with age, so adapting by going a shade or two warmer or brighter instead of changing your color is still a good move, as Sigourney Weaver proves. For a natural look, don't go too far — you want to amp up your color — and don't aim for your original darkest brown or black hair color, since that would emphasize lines, discolorations and shadows.
And my final advice: If you're piling on foundation, blush and bronzer every day to look good, your hair color is not doing you any favors. Go see a salon pro for a free consultation. You are leaving AARP. Please return to AARP. Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
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Also of interest 10 Chic Shorter Haircuts. Please leave your comment below. Join or Renew Today! Please don't show me this again for 90 days. Your email address is now confirmed. Here is her life as she told it to me, and betwixt and between the pages of her life you will find mine as well. That's why you have to say all your 'sorrys' and 'I love yous' while a person is living, because tomorrow isn't promised.
I would have preferred that Mommy were black. Now, as a grown man, I feel privileged to have come from two worlds. My view of the world is not merely that of a black man but that of a black man with something of a Jewish soul. Instead I was stuck at that white school, P. I have always been one of the worst dancers that God has ever put upon this earth.
They spoke a completely different language. Helen was far beyond that. Mommy got the address and went to the place herself. It was a dilapidated housing project near St. Nicholas Avenue, with junkies and winos standing out front. Mommy stepped past them and walked through a haze of reefer smoke and took the elevator to the eighth floor.
She went to the apartment door and listened. There was music playing on a stereo inside, and the voice of someone on the phone. She knocked on the door. It sounded like Helen. I want you to come home. Just forget all of it and come on home.
A summary of Chapters 4–6 in James McBride's The Color of Water. experiences as a white woman, and a convert to Christianity, living among black people. He tells the story of how his older brother, Billy, whose memory was one of his. The Color of Water and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. .. The Girl Who Fell from the Sky James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book .. This personal narrative allowed the reader to experience the author's mother's struggle in two diverse worlds as an adult in a. Various headshots of women with different color hair styles. can be as effective as blond in adding a luminous frame of light to mature faces.