some thoughts on schindler’s list

{Note: This is NOT a review with coherent thoughts on characters, storyline, music, themes, etc.  I’ve only seen this movie once and even if I saw it again, I’m not sure I could write a review.  Basically, this is just a bunch of thoughts that have been whizzing around in my head for the past few days that I wanted to clear away.  So don’t expect a detailed review.  ‘Cause this isn’t it.}

I think I can say that Schindler’s List is a movie that’s affected me a LOT – it’s been weeks since I saw it last and I can’t stop thinking about it and still find myself tearing up when I remember certain scenes (but we’ll get to that later).  Usually, I watch a good movie, think “That was a good/great movie”, pin some pictures from it, maybe talk about it on my blog, and that’s it, but Schindler’s List sort of sunk into my heart and soul and it refuses to leave.  I’ve always been intrigued and emotionally moved by stories of WWII/the Holocaust so I guess it isn’t surprising that Schindler’s List has such a hold on me.

So.  Random thoughts.

Everyone talks about the black-and-white aspect of Schindler’s List and the little girl in the red jacket and what she symbolizes, and I think that Spielberg filmed the movie mostly in b&w to save (and highlight) a sliver of an era that far too many people have forgotten about today.  And, of course, the little girl ends up really galvanizing Schindler into doing more than what he was already doing (and his motives changed, too – character development FOR THE WIN).  The film is brutal, even crippling in its heartbreak and horror, and the girl in red is a huge part of that.

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That theme.  THAT THEME.  It sweeps you up and carries you along with aching sadness and beauty and hope and fear.  Just like the movie itself.

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Schindler’s List is over three hours long, but I never felt like it was dragging because there’s so much history (and story) to be told and shown and it could never be fully explained in three hours, so they had to cram in as much as they could.  Not to say that it feels rushed or poorly written or anything like that, but even in the quiet moments, the film hurtles on and on toward the end – death for some, liberation for others.  We had to pause it for quite a while right in the middle to have supper and I was on tenterhooks (not having read any spoilers).  It’s indescribable, the way this movie drags you through all sorts of different emotions – sadness, heartbreak, despair, disgust, amazement, admiration, even hope – and doesn’t wholly devastate you by the end.  It is very, very hard to watch, but it’s an experience worth having once in your life.

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Believe it or not, I didn’t cry at all during Schindler’s List – not once – until the words on the screen near the end, saying that Oskar Schindler was named one of the Righteous and everyone was laying those stones on his grave and then the full enormity and awfulness of what I’d seen in those last three hours hit me and I would’ve started crying if I hadn’t been surrounded by other family members and I hate crying in front of anyone, even people I know super well.  So, I didn’t really cry then, but several days later when some of us were watching Mockingjay Part 1, I broke my own rule of not-crying-in-front-of-other-people.  Because we were at the part when the team is in D12 and Gale’s talking about how he led some of the residents to safety but it was only a fraction of D12’s population, and suddenly the similarities between what he was saying and Schindler’s soliloquy hit me and I started bawling in front of everyone.  Which was rather embarrassing, but I guess I got it all out of my system then.

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That scene still makes me cry just thinking about it, the one where Schindler voices his regrets about all the people he didn’t save. (Good thing this isn’t a vlog because I’m a mess right now.)  One thing I do really love about that scene, though (other than Liam Neeson’s incredible acting) is that everyone group hugs Schindler.  Hugs are the best thing ever and at that point, Schindler deserved all the hugs ever.  And since I’m basically like Fred in Big Hero 6 when he’s all like “If I could have only one superpower right now, it would be the ability to crawl through this camera, and give you a big hug” I’m soooo happy that, for once, a person that deserves a hug gets one. (I still want to hug everyone in that scene, though.)

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So, that’s about it.  Do I recommend that you watch Schindler’s List?  It’s really intense and hard to watch but, yes, I think everyone should see it at least once.  It’s an important film.  (Though if you’re ten or something and reading this blog, PLEASE wait until you’re older.)

(Also, I need someone to share all these feels with, so if you’ve seen this and felt the same way about it, please let me know!)

Eva

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8 thoughts on “some thoughts on schindler’s list

  1. GAHHHHHH THE THEME MUSIC OF THIS MOVIE IS BEYOND HEARTBREAKING. JUST. I’m listening to it right now and it’s making me cry. GAHHHH. (I actually hate listening to this song cause it’s so sad.)

    I want to see this movie ONE DAY. But not right now. Watching Holocaust movies is really, really hard for me. “Though if you’re ten or something and reading this blog, PLEASE wait until you’re older.” HA. Yes. :-0

    ~ Naomi

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    • I knowwwww. The theme is unbearably sad. (And John Williams, the composer, is pretty much a genius.)

      When you watch it, there are three things you need: a giant box of Kleenexes, a bar of comfort chocolate, and a stuffed animal to cuddle when things get too hard. And even then, you’ll be crushed by the end. (Am I frightening you away from watching this? :P)

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  2. That music is so sad . . .

    You know, I’d heard of this movie but never really got an idea what it was about. I’d like to watch it now, I think–it sounds really powerful. BUT I think I’ll read all the spoilers first. Just so I’ll know what’s happening. (I usually do that, anyways. I don’t do suspense in movies–I have to know everything beforehand, if it’s at all scary. When I was a little kid, movies absolutely terrified me and I refused to watch them. I like watching them now, but ONLY if I can know the plot first.)

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    • There are a few tense moments throughout, so if you don’t do that sort of thing, spoilers would probably be best. And even without the tense scenes, it’s still a super intense movie (if that makes sense).

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      • That makes perfect sense–as in, the scenes are still emotionally intense, even if you KNOW what’s going to happen.

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  3. I’ve seen this once, and I don’t know that I’ll ever watch it again because it was SO deeply emotional for me, to the point of traumatizing, that I don’t know that I could handle it again.

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  4. Pingback: january, february, march: what I’ve been reading & watching | coffee, classics, & craziness

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