An exploration of the representation of Oskar Schindler in the film ‘Schindler’s List’ The film ‘Schindler’s List’, which is a drama documentary based on the way the Jews were treated by the Germans in World War, 2 was directed by Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg is famous for science fiction films like E. T and Jurassic Park. This makes it very unusual for Spielberg to be the director of a Drama Documentary because it is completely different to the genre of most of his previous films. The actors that were chosen to play the parts of Oskar Schindler and Amon Goethe play an important part in the way they were both represented in the film.
Lian Nesson, who plays the part of Schindler, would have got the part because he looks like Schindler himself. He has benign features and a very prominent bone structure in his face, giving him a soft look. He looks very German and clean and his features are very open. He looks gentle and does not look threatening in anyway. Whereas Ralph Fiennes the actor who plays the part of Amon Goethe, has a malign look. His voice is very deep and he looks and sounds threatening. The genre of the film ‘Schindler’s List’ is a drama documentary, which is a film based on reality.
It is one of the nearest things to recreating reality. The audience will probably be attracted to this film because it is about something that actually happened, that they may not know much about. The fact that it is a drama documentary makes the audience think that it will be honest and truthful, although it could be slightly biased. It is likely to have been heavily researched and have many true facts in it. The choice of making it a drama documentary heightens the reality and impact because it will seem more real to the audience and help in recreating reality.
The believability is emphasized in many ways, including the use of hand held cameras in some parts of the filming making the shots less smooth and increasing the realism. It makes the audience feel present in the film. The use of black and white emphasises that it is based on history. The captions also help to remind the audience that what they are watching is a historical documentary because they are white on black and are factual references. The ending also emphasizes the believability of the film by showing true reality in colour juxtaposed against the recreation of reality in black and white.
Oskar Schindler is portrayed in the first two sequences as being a neat, precise and particular man. It focuses on his clothes set out ready for him to wear, it then shows him getting dressed and focuses on his hands and body and does not show his face. The camera then focuses on a large stash of money that he has, making the audience believe that he is a wealthy man and that money plays an important part in his life. The last shot of Schindler getting ready to go out is an extreme close up of him fixing his Nazi pin in place. Due to it being the last shot of the sequence we are made to remember this.
Schindler is then seen entering a sophisticated party held by the Nazi officers. The camera shows his view of the room as if he is observing the Nazis from the outside looking in. The camera follows him around the room, in and out of the shadows, watching officers and women having a good time. We hear his voice before we see his face. The camera deliberately shows the side of Schindler’s head as he is having a conversation with someone, this is very unusual when filming someone having a conversation with someone else. He appears self satisfied and confident as he walks around the room.
The cutting between the shots of Schindler’s view of the room are very fast. There is lots of food and wine at the party and all of the Nazis appear to be having a good time. The film cross cuts between the view of the party and that of the Jews being ordered to register with the Nazis and the first list of the names of the Jews being compiled. In the first two sequences Schindler is represented as a man who likes his money and his women. He is shown as a precise and well organised man, both personally and in his work . He is always seen wearing his Nazi pin and is represented as a womaniser.
For instance, when he is trying to find a typist, he dismisses a woman who is very good at typing but is not very pretty whereas, when a younger, prettier woman comes along but can not type very well, he sits in his chair admiring her. As the film continues we start to see Schindler in a different way. He is shown riding his horse with his wife. At the same time we see soldiers shooting Jews, and men, women and children being separated. Schindler is rarely included in the footage of the Jews being treated badly and, on the odd occasion when he is he is only watching what is happening and not taking part.
Schindler stops above the city looking down on the scene below. This is a turning point for Schindler, the way he is positioned above the city gives the impression that he need to stand back from the situation to realise what is really happening. It is often very hard to stand back from a situation and take a different view on it to the way everyone else has. He does this though and realises what the Nazis are doing is wrong. Each gunshot lights a room in a house signifying another death. Hand held cameras are used again to show confusion and panic, this shows the impact of what is happening.