Schindler’s List

One of the Most Remarkable Stories in History

What it’s about

Based on a true story. Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party, tries to save his Jewish employees after witnessing the persecution of Jews in Poland.

My thoughts

Arguably no other story captures the horrors of the Holocaust and the fight to survive it better than this one. And no person who watches this film will ever see the world in the same way again. The fact it is based on a true story makes it all the more harrowing.

If you are easily upset then this is likely not a film for you, but if you want to understand just how evil man can be if given the chance and just how good man can be if given the chance and just why the world fought so hard to stop the Nazis, this film will tell you all you need to know.

In terms of the visuals, firstly this film is shot in black-and-white which is rare for a big budget modern film, but it most definitely works. Colours bring things to life but this is a story where life is hanging on by a thread which is why using black-and-white is such a powerful touch.

It really brings to life just how devoid and cold and colourless and evil the Nazi world was for a Jewish person, but it also allows that one shining hope which Oscar Schindler presented to his workforce to really shine through.

All in all this is simply a brilliant film worthy of all its accolades which include seven Oscars which means it gets a definite big thumbs up from me.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Zaillian

Genre: biography, drama, historical

Year: 1993

Runtime: 195 minutes

Saving Private Ryan

Visual Masterpiece with the Most Human of Stories

What it’s about

During the Normandy invasion of World War II, Captain John Miller is assigned the task of searching for Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have already been killed in the war.

My thoughts

Visually speaking this film is a masterpiece in the way it presents such a realistic and vivid account of what it was like on the front line during World War II.

But what makes this film stand out is the fact that it has substance to go with those visuals, and is an extremely powerful story which asks the question is it right to risk the lives of other soldiers to save one soldier, simply because that one soldier has lost all his siblings. 

Let there be no doubt that this film makes for grim watching, but if you’re willing to persevere it will be worth your while, for that reason it gets a thumbs up from me.

Director: Stephen Spielberg

Writer: Robert Rodat

Genre: drama, action, war

Year: 1998

Runtime: 170 minutes

Schindler’s List

One of the Most Remarkable Stories in History

What it’s about

Based on a true story. Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party, tries to save his Jewish employees after witnessing the persecution of Jews in Poland.

What you will learn from watching it

​Arguably no other story captures the horrors of the Holocaust and the fight to survive it better than this one. And no person who watches this film will ever see the world in the same way again. The fact it is based on a true story makes it all the more harrowing.

Is it a one hundred percent accurate portrayal, no but the main narrative which shows what Oscar Schindler did and many of the obstacles he had to face in an effort to keep his Jewish workforce alive.

Meaning what this film does is present a solid snapshot of what it would have been like for Oscar Schindler and his workforce in Nazi German, and the lengths he had to go to to keep his Jewish workforce alive.

Is the story any good

The story was derived from a Booker prize-winning novel by Thomas Keneally, entitled Schindler’s Ark which presented a fictionalised account of the true story of Oscar Schindler.

The novel was in itself completely and entirely remarkable for its brilliance in telling this true story, and in the translation to film none of this brilliance has been lost.

Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Stevens Zaillian have combined brilliantly to bring this on to the big screen, and Liam Neeson puts in a dazzling performance as Oscar Schindler.

To say the least all in all this story is absolutely brilliant. Perhaps its greatest strength is that rather than turning it into a story of tragedy, it is a story in which there is an enormous tragedy but this is not a story of tragedy it is a story of the most human kind, where a man fights in his own way to keep alive those who a monstrous regime wishes to slaughter.

Final words

If you like dramas and stories of how one man through the choices he makes truly does have the power to make a difference then this is the film for you. The fact it is in black-and-white may put some people off, the fact it is a story of the Holocaust may but some people off, but in both cases this would be a mistake because this is truly an amazing story.

That means, without a shadow of a doubt this film gets super-sized thumbs up from me.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Zaillian

Genre: biography, drama, historical

Year: 1993

Runtime: 195 minutes

Saving Private Ryan

Visual Masterpiece with the Most Human of Stories

What it’s about

During the Normandy invasion of World War II, Captain John Miller is assigned the task of searching for Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have already been killed in the war.

What you will learn from watching it

This film captures brilliantly just how grim World War II was, meaning if you don’t already understand just how grim war can be then this film makes it abundantly clear.

It also via use of the sole survivor directive which the US military practice shows just how difficult it is to choose which lives to save and which to sacrifice during war.

So there is much we can learn from this film, but this film’s strength is not in its ability to teach us something but more in its ability to make us think, and any film that can make you think has the power to change the way you think. Making this a very compelling watch for any person looking for a film that will help make them think about things in a way they perhaps otherwise would not have done so.

Is the story any good

Visually speaking this film is a masterpiece in the way it presents such a realistic and vivid account of what it was like on the front line during World War II. The opening sequence is especially impressive for its realism, basically Steven Spielberg has knocked it out of the park on the cinematography side of things.

But what makes this film stand out is it has substance to go with those visuals, as it tells an extremely powerful story which asks the question is it right to risk the lives of other soldiers to save one soldier, simply because that one soldier has lost all his siblings. 

And it tells that story in a very good way. Which means yes the story is really good, which means writer Robert Rodat who penned the script has also along with Spielberg in his cinematography knocked it out of the park.

Final words

If you like war films, without a doubt. Even if you dislike war films, as long as you can stomach the grimness it is still likely worth watching because like said from a story perspective it tells a brilliant tale.

That means this film gets a definite thumbs up from me.

Director: Stephen Spielberg

Writer: Robert Rodat

Genre: drama, action, war

Year: 1998

Runtime: 170 minutes