This film is nothing short of a masterpiece. The lengthy cinema time is necessary to ensure the pacing maintains a somber, drawn out tension as we see the terrible struggle between Oskar Schindler and the collective forces of sadistic brutality that encompasses the SchutzStaffel and their death squads.
The black and white, somewhat jarring at first, helps to delineate a major theme in this story, the fight between good and evil…or perhaps it is more nuanced then even that…the fight between men who respects other human beings as people, and those who consider human beings to be property, or even worse…garbage?
Whatever the case might be, Spielberg excels in portraying a documentary-esque realism to the manner in which human beings are systematically murdered and brutalized in this film, or even the way in which their deaths are often the product of nothing more than a malicious whimsy. The parallels between whether death is the product of a meticulously crafted ideology of hatred against a certain race, or else merely the product of bored men with far too much power is not belabored for long, it is the consequences of those instruments which is the true focus of the film and the broken families and homes is truly a sight to behold.
Schindler’s List is a monumental movie, but it does not warrant the word ‘epic’ with its length so much as visual epitaph, cataloguing the extraordinary suffering endured by a long hard done by race, and the inspiring courage demonstrated by a single individual wrestling against what the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt so astutely labelled, ‘the banality of evil.’ Schindler’s List might document that banality, but it is anything but: this rightly deserves its place in cinematic history.