Schindler's List is the powerful biopic and Oscar Winning 1993 film that follows the life of Oskar Schindler during World War 2. Schindler a Nazi sympathizer and wealthy businessman becomes aware of the atrocities against the Jewish people while in Poland. During an epiphany moment for Schindler he decides to do all he can to save as many Jewish people as he can from the atrocities they experience during the Nazi regime. He makes sacrifices in all aspects of his life by giving away virtually all of his wealth to purchase the lives of Jewish people to work in his factory saving them from the various methods of death they would likely face in the German Concentration Camps. Schindler saved over 1,000 Jews and lost virtually all of his fortune as a result. The movie shows the consequences of his sacrifices. The movie, an American Classic won 7 Oscars including awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Actor in a Leading, and Supporting Role.
Technically, this work is brilliant. Filmed in black and white Spielberg known largely at the time as a
Director of fluff entertainment, albeit great fluff entertainment took the serious story of Schindler and made it entertaining, yet powerful. Despite the serious subject matter, this film flows quickly and seems to be much shorter than its 3+ hours and leading actor Liam Neeson is brilliant along with costars Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes and others. The real star though, is Spielberg in his direction and ability to tell a heart wrenching, compelling story based on the real Oskar Schindler.
This movie challenged me to contemplate my own willingness to sacrifice for the hurting, the abused and those in need. Few movies have likely ever moved the audience to contemplate their own sacrifice to help people in need. We are moved after seeing this portrayed in such a powerful way and then towards the end of the film seeing the attitude of Schindler in realizing that in his incredible sacrifices, he sees only how he could have done more by selling this car, or this or that, if he would have only made more money he could have saved more people. Schindler was aware not of what he had done but what more he could have done.
As followers of Jesus we often make excuses to ignore the pains and realities of others around us, we especially notice this when we ourselves are going through difficulties and there are few around us who seem to care. While the pain those Schindler helped was as deep as any pain one can experience, the pain we so often feel is none the less our experience, hurts, needs and pain. The need to help others is exemplified throughout the the Bible, unfortunately, sometimes we need reminders, from real people, examples, even sometimes a movie that presents the lives of other people like Oskar Schindler.
When Jesus was asked about entering the Kingdom of Heaven, He spoke of the importance of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and in that process the importance of loving our neighbor as ourselves. We are also told, of all the commandments, there are none greater than these two, because when we keep these two, we have kept them all. In the process of loving our neighbor, Spielberg presents Schindler as among those in history who can inspire like few others. For those observing Lent, realize that among the best ways to show God you love Him is by the way we love others. That love when made with sacrifice is a love that will have an impact on not just those we are helping, but those looking in at our lives and examples.
To see the trailer for Schindler's List, click on the video below, if the video doesn't appear, click on the following link:
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