Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally.
After the Germans occupy Poland, the Nazi Party begins to classify and place Polish Jews into ghettos and sending millions to concentration camps with uncertainness of their fate. But amidst the chaos and distress comes a man by the name of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a business man and a member of the Nazi party, who sees an opportunity to open a manufacturing warehouse on cheap labor. Schindler recruits a Jewish man by the name of Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), a brilliant accountant who helps Schindler secure workers. The two begin to create a list of workers, but Itzhak is secretly taking them off a worst fate. As time goes by, Schindler realizes what Itzhak has been doing, however, a more compassionate side of him begins to show and what used to be a money making scheme had now turned into a safe haven for Jewish prisoners. Inadvertently, Schindler had begun giving a ray of hope through very dark times.
What else can I say about Schindler’s List that hasn’t been said already? The film is magnificent from start to finish. Steven Spielberg directed what I consider one of his best films, if not the best. He took something he is so passionate about and told a very gripping and gut wrenching story that has a very long lasting effect and impact on the viewers. Part of his genius on Schindler’s List lies on the way he decided to shoot the film, but I must split this credit to the cinematographer Janusz Kaminski who was also involved in this process.
Filming in black and white was without a doubt the best choice for Steven Spielberg. He managed to tell a story about human suffering in a way that was most shocking and the black and white technique really helped him convey that message. Spielberg did not shy away from the shocking images of violence, he fully delivers the grittiness and suffering in a way that was least expected.
The film’s look and overall feel really helps shape each and every one of its characters. Oskar Schindler’s personality changes over the course of the film, but the style in which is shown to the audience allows the filmmakers to really see his inner conflict. The scene of the little girl in red is the key moment where we see a real conflict within Schindler. The delivery is emotionally powerful and the image spoke louder than words.
The film is an emotional journey filled with shocking events of violence and the constant battle for survival. Steven Spielberg created a magnificent motion picture and he gave us a terrifying reminder of how dark humans can be. Schindler’s List stands the test of time and still remains one of the best pictures ever made.
The man himself Steven Spielberg supervised this release! Restored from the original film negative!
Spielberg and Kaminski decided to shoot most of the film in black and white, which in itself it is a very great idea, this technique gave the film a much more grittiness and the overall impact is greater. The film begins in a dining room with a scene of a Jewish family, with a very colorful picture and as the scene moves on we see the change to black and white, the transition is sudden bringing a greater impact and effectiveness for the rest of the film. Black and white films on blu-ray tend to always look sharp and amazing. The same can be said about this film in its video quality in regards to Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K, and more precisely Dolby Vision. Super sharp and dark blacks and just great clarity all throughout.
Schindler’s List arrives on Ultra HD Blu-ray 4k with a Dolby Atmos track and Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. The audio here in this release is also quite fantastic. A good part of the film contains quite a bit of dialogue, but that dialogue is so clean and clear throughout. There is a good directionality throughout. The rears do come alive with some atmospheric and ambient effects. The music score does make a good usage of the space in the track. Even the bass was balanced, providing some good support when needed. Overall, Schindler’s List sounds fantastic.
When I heard of the filming and reunion this past year at the Tribeca Film Festival involving the cast of Schindler’s List I had hoped that we may be fortunate enough for the reunion to make its way over to a future release and/or 4k UHD and we did get exactly that! I was also hoping for Jaws, but I guess that won’t be happening. Ha. Great informative and charming reunion celebrating 25 years later.
Voices From The List – This documentary is over an hour long and it features Steven Spielberg as the host as he interviews with survivors of the Holocaust. This is an excellent piece that you should not miss.
USC Shoah Foundation Story With Steven Spielberg – Steven Spielberg talks about the foundation and its goals.
About IWitness – This piece will probably not interest many, but it’s a promotional commercial for IWitness program.
A portion of this review was taken from our earlier blu-ray review.
Principal photography took place in Kraków, Poland, over the course of 72 days in 1993. Spielberg shot the film in black and white and approached it as a documentary. Cinematographer Janusz Kami?ski wanted to give the film a sense of timelessness. John Williams composed the score, and violinist Itzhak Perlman performs the film’s main theme. – wikipedia