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Writing an English Review of the Film Schindler’s List: Some Thoughts

Room in Black and White

Recently our team have conducted a thorough analysis of the most popular service requests we receive. It turned out that English film reviews were among the most frequently ordered school and college papers. Indeed, such home assignments are often given to both English-speaking and ESL students in order to test their creative thinking and, of course, writing skills.

That is why we have decided to throw out to you a few original ideas which could help you compose an impressive review! And given the fact that I have recently watched “Schindler’s List” and kept telling everyone about the emotions it stirred up, I was assigned to write this blogpost.

So, let me share them with you and give you some advice on your own work.

What Should You Start With?

“Schindler’s List” is not one of those films you like or do not like. It is the film that impresses. Once and forever. It is not one of those films you can watch with a can of cola and a bucket of popcorn beside you. It is the film you must watch in silence, holding your breath and, if you are quite sensitive, your tears, within all those 197 minutes.

Of course, a naughty little sceptic inside you may say that the characters in this film are romanticized and that some real facts are distorted for the sake of cinematographic edification. Oh, just make this part of your consciousness shut up! (I would still recommend you substituting the last phrasal verb with a more standard equivalent in your paper.)

“Schindler’s List” is based on a real-life story that does sound like a fiction if you do not dig deeper into it. To be more precise, the film is based on the book “Schindler’s Ark” by Thomas Keneally, the Australian author, which retells a true story about the great human deeds of one Nazi party member during World War II. Probably, it would be quite difficult to believe that it was not just invented by a certain Poldek Pfefferberg unless the so-called “Lists of Life” were nowadays kept at the Holocaust museum at Yad Vashem, Israel, and at the US Holocaust museum in Washington, DC.

So, what is it all about? 

Paper, Ink Pen, Oil Lamp

How to Retell the Whole Story in Your 500-Word Review?

As you are writing a film review, not a report, I would not advise you to devote its entire main part to rewriting an article from Wikipedia. I guess, 100-150 words would be enough to retell the plot briefly. Let’s see whether it is possible!

Oskar Schindler is an ethnic German and a respectable Nazi, a businessman who just wants to make some fortune and would never refuse to drink a glass or two of something really strong. He moves to Krakow and, after getting permission from the local German authorities and money from the local Jewish community, opens a factory to produce enamelware.

All his employees appear to be ethnic Jews, who are actually willing to work for him, as they can leave the ghetto for some time. The names of his “qualified workers” are written down in the special lists, so no German officer can even touch Schindler’s people without his permission.

However, that is not the only reason why they come to his factory. Schindler is a good boss and noble person. He takes the responsibility for forging his workers’ documents, hence saving them from certain death in concentration camps or ghettos.

(Total: 150 words)

What Is Truly Worth Analyzing in the Film?

The review should focus on the analysis, not the retelling. So, let’s discuss the most symbolic facets of this picture!

Why Is the Film Black and White?

By 1993, when “Schindler’s List” was directed and released, the capabilities of cinematography allowed to create films in colors. However, the director and producer of the picture, Steven Spielberg, insisted on the black and white version despite the fact that MCA/Universal Studios did not support his idea.

Spielberg argued that the terrible times of the Holocaust in Europe could not be pictured in any other colors. He also added that he learnt about the Holocaust from other people’s memories and old archival footage, so his inspiration came to him in black and white either.    

Wow! The Girl in Red?

Yet, in some scenes a viewer can find a little girl in a…red coat? No, it is not a visual deception. This coat is the only element Spielberg left in color. That girl’s name was Roma Ligocka. By the way, real she lives in Germany these days. And she did wear that red coat when she lived in the ghetto.

However, the director decided that his little heroine had to die, and her coat was the only thing which helped Schindler find her body. That scene was aimed to picture the cruelty and inhumanity of those times.   

What Does That Quote from the Talmud Mean?

Told by Itzhak Stern, Schindler’s main investor, it touches and inspires the businessman. It says that when we save at least one life, we can save the whole world. Till nowadays the Jews remember Oskar Schindler as a great man who remained a Human in the inhuman times.  

How to Write the Conclusion?

Steven Spielberg admitted that he was crying while watching some episodes of the film. Speaking frankly, my hands were shaking when I was writing some paragraphs. Not to mention the fact that the film itself gave me goosebumps. 

It is hard to select the right adjectives to comment on the general impression from this great picture. I believe, 7 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes, and many other awards will speak for themselves when you will choose another movie to watch on the weekend. 

Rated 4.4 | 22 votes.

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