Docudrama | English | 195 minutes
Businessman Oskar Schindler arrives in Krakow in 1939 ready to make his fortune. World War II just started and Schindler’s enamelware factory is able to make huge profits by employing Jewish workers and paying them very little. Schindler hires Itzhak Stern, a Jewish accountant, to handle the books. Schindler is a flawed man: a womanizer, drinker, gambler, driven by the need to live high. Gradually, Stern begins to explain to Schindler that by employing Jews in his factory, he was saving their lives. The Nazis protected Jews working in factories producing war materials. Schindler subsequently spent his money hiring more and more Jews even though they were not needed. He also found a way to outwit the Nazi bureaucrats, especially the ruthless Goth, who were beginning to catch on to his motives. Why and how did Schindler change? There never has been a clear explanation of why this enigmatic man did what he did.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
- Metacritic Score: 94
- Academy Awards: Winner, Best Picture; Best Director (Steven Spielberg); Best Adapted Screenplay (Steven Zaillian); Best Original Score (John Williams); Best Film Editing (Michael Kahn); Best Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski)
- BAFTA Awards: Winner, Best Film; Best Direction (Steven Spielberg); Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Fiennes); Best Adapted Screenplay (Steven Zaillian)
- Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Motion Picture- Drama; Best Director (Steven Spielberg); Best Screenplay (Steven Zaillian)
- The film was designated as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
- The American Film Institute ranked Schindler’s List #8 on its list of the 100 best American films of all time.
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Spielberg’s screenplay by Steven Zaillian isn’t based on contrived melodrama. Instead, Spielberg relies on a series of incidents, seen clearly and without manipulation. By witnessing these incidents we understand what little can be known about Schindler and his scheme. The movie is brilliantly acted, written, directed, and seen. Individual scenes are masterpieces of art direction, cinematography, special effects, crowd control. Spielberg is not visible in this film but his restraint and passion are present in every shot.
Rising brilliantly to the challenge, Mr. Spielberg has made sure that neither he nor the Holocaust will ever be thought of in the same way again. With every frame, he demonstrates the power of the filmmaker to distill complex events into fiercely indelible images.
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