A Response to the Movie Schindler’s List

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The scene in which Oskar Schindler notices the girl in the red coat provoked a visceral reaction from me. This is because everything prior to this scene is in black and white, with the exception of the opening scene. Everything in this scene, other than her jacket, is black and white. Her having color shows the audience of Schindler's notice of her. The red color of the coat symbolizes the Jewish people's vivacity and desire to thrive. She appears to be unfazed by the violence from the evacuation around her. The girl in the red coat represents the innocence of the Jews being slaughtered. Schindler finally becomes aware of the horror of the monstrosities being committed against the Jews by the Nazis after seeing her. It is only after noticing the girl in the red coat that Schindler realizes his sins against the Jews and develops a desire to help them. When the girl in the red coat arrives on the scene, the Germans are violently evacuating the Jews.

The victims around her are screaming and crying; however, she remains calm and continues walking with them. Her face seems to be indifferent but also displays hints of melancholy. The girl in the red coat promotes identification with the victims of the Holocaust. She symbolizes the innocence of the Jewish people as well as their total forced surrender to the German people. Spielberg uses the girl in the red coat to act as a recurring visual image to the audience, and the color of her coat makes it easy for her to be identified and remembered. In addition to this, the theme of the film is playing. The music choice is very fitting because it sounds very tragic and plays in several prior scenes in which Jews are being mistreated. It increases the viewer's empathy with the victims of the Holocaust.

Another scene that stood out to me and evoked emotional feelings for me was the scene in which Amon Goeth is shirtless on his balcony, sniping the Jewish people. The moment in this scene that angered me significantly was when Goeth shoots a random girl in the head who was simply tying her shoe. The girl was young and did not do anything wrong but was killed simply because Goeth felt like it. Goeth seems to not have a process in how he decides whom to kill. He simply picks at random. In this scene, the Jews around the victims shriek and run in terror but are forced to continue working or face getting killed as well. It is heartbreaking when it is realized that their family and friends were killed for virtually no reason other than their heritage. Goeth seems to enjoy killing for the sake of killing. He considers his killing of the Jews to be the same as hunting animals. This shows the dehumanization of the Jews and how the Germans really saw them as vermin. This scene is shot from a higher angle from where Goeth is. This makes the audience look down upon the working Jews from the viewpoint of the balcony. Doing this likens the killings of the Jews to hunting.

The third scene that involved me emotionally the most is the scene in which the women's train mistakenly arrives at Auschwitz. The scenes in which their hair is cut, and they are forced naked into the showers go to show just how brutally the Jews were treated. It feels raw and horrific. When the women are forced into the shower, they begin to panic and scream in terror because they have heard rumors of the gas chambers, and they thought that they were about to all die. When water comes in, they start laughing and crying for joy. This scene stood out to me significantly because the Jewish women were dehumanized to such a degree that they did not seem to care particularly about the cutting of their hair or the fact that they were all stripped of their clothes and possessions just because they were able to stay alive. They seem to have lost all hope, and their only desire is to continue living. In this scene, Spielberg seems to use handheld camera shots to create an uneasy and anxious perspective. This makes the audience feel as if they are one of the women being ushered along the process.

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A Response to the Movie Schindler's List. (2023, Mar 06). Retrieved May 30, 2024 , from

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