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Abandoned Couch

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abandoned_couchI had an open assignment for school, which means I could shoot anything. I had a lot of fun shooting this. It is actually kind of funny, where I found this old couch in a field is right is in between a prison and an animal shelter. After the shoot, I just had to go look at the puppies, and lucky me ended up falling in love with one and brought her home. Trying to finish a project and I got a new dog. It was an interesting day! 🙂

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Schindler’s List

I was given an assignment on watching a movie and then write a critique about it and how it is culturally significant. Here it is,

Makensie Cooper 

Schindler’s List

In 1993 Steven Spielberg directed and produced the film Schindler’s list starring Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and many more. The story is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark, it is about a man named Oskar Schindler. Schindler, part of the Nazi party, was a very greedy man always looking to make money and never really caring for anyone else. Schindler begins to understand and see the truth of the Holocaust and how bad it actually was, he was a war hero to many Jews. Schindler’s List is a heart wrenching story that shows you what actually happened in those terrible years of the Holocaust. Schindler’s List is the first movie that portrays the gruesome experience as well as the change of heart of one of the Nazi members. 

The story takes place in 1939 before World War II begins, when the Germans were relocating the Jews from Poland to the Ghetto. Schindler, a business man sponsored by the military, arrives to the city hoping to make a fortune running a factory for production of tools needed for war. He starts collecting and hiring Jews to work for him because they were the cheapest laborers. He would also trade needed products to Jews who would lend him money. Itzhak Stern was Schindler’s right-hand man. Stern handled everything, so he was able to ensure whoever was able to work was hired to save them from being transferred to a concentration camp or killed without Schindler knowing what he was doing. When the Nazi’s came in to liquidate the ghetto to move the Jews to concentration camps Schindler was there to watch the massacre, and he was horribly affected. While watching the massacre, Schindler sees a little girl in a red coat walk by. The movie was produced in black and white, but this little four year old girl was the only color in the movie until the end. Even though this little girl doesn’t get hurt, it is still a heartbreaking scene seeing her walk through all of the mess. I think Spielberg accomplished the program objective of making her the one object in color. It automatically makes her the most important thing in the scene and for a second you feel like Schindler, finally seeing the horror of the whole event in new eyes.  The angle of this scene has a different approach to it; I don’t think it would have close to the same affect at all if she was also in black and white like the rest of the scene. That was a wake-up call for Schindler; he began to see the hatred and inhumane things being done to innocent people. Although he didn’t act on anything to stop this horrible scene yet, he finally, truly realized what was going on. Schindler was prepared to leave at this point with his fortune and go back to his wife a rich man, but because of this little girl, his business wasn’t finished yet.

Schindler starts to bribe the SS Officer to let him build a small factory setup at the concentration camp so he can keep an eye on the workers as well as try to keep them safe.  Schindler starts to participate in saving the Jews when a young Jewish girl walks into his office and begs him to hire her parents because his work place is known as a safe haven. At first he was angry and sent her away, and later goes to tell Stern he is not in the business saving people. As soon as he finished yelling he told Stern to go and pick up the couple and bring them to work. Again, the director of the movie, Spielberg sets up this scene at the perfect time. He is slowing showing how the tables are turning and how Schindler is starting to become more selfless. We are slowing beginning to see the change in Schindler’s heart and attitude as he is beginning to see how he has a major role in saving the Jews. Schindler is now saving more and more people, but in order to save the people he has to bribe the officers. No longer is he money hungry and greedy but now he is starting to show compassion and is doing more for other people than himself.

The head SS Officer of the camp was commanded to start evacuating, killing, and burning the bodies at the concentration camp. While Schindler is there on the scene again a prisoner walks by pushing a wheelbarrow and the little girl with the red jacket is lying lifelessly on top ready to be burned. This is the breaking point for Schindler; he then realizes his workers, including Stern, face certain death if he doesn’t do anything soon. 

Spielberg keeps changing the angle of the story. Schindler will be a greedy business man in one scene and then war hero with a huge heart in the next. Schindler keeps having a conflict with himself as to which is more important, his workers lives or his fortune. The lives of the precious people win over and he starts to gather up his valuables and spend his fortune to save as many people as he can. He finally persuades the SS Officer to sell the Jews to Schindler as well as the officer’s maid, Helen, so he can open up a factory in Czechoslovakia. The officer agrees and the Jews are loaded up on two different trains to be transported to Czechoslovakia, the men on one and the women on the other. The men made it safely to the new factory; however the women’s train was somehow diverted to Auschwitz. Schindler is forced to buy the women again and they are finally reunited with the men at the factory where they stayed until the end of the war. 

At the end of the war Spielberg flips the story again, the war hero, Schindler, who just saved over 1100 Jews, is now a war criminal because he was part of the Nazi party. As he and his wife get ready to flee, Stern and all of the people he saved gave him a gold ring they had made out of one of the men’s gold tooth. The ring was engraved with the phrase, “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” 

The next morning after Schindler and his wife had left the war was officially over. The Jews were free. A Russian Soldier entered the camp to tell them they were free and they could go start their lives over in the nearby town. As they start to walk through a field the scene turns to full color and shows a group of the real Holocaust survivors accompanied by the actors and actresses who played them. They all walked to Oskar Schindler’s grave and place rocks on the grave, the last person to do so was Liam Neeson who placed a rose on the grave. 

The filming in this movie was fantastic, the director’s choice, Steven Spielberg, to use black and white was brilliant. The presentation evoked the World War II era and brought the scenes to life. It deepened the impact of the movie, made it feel more dramatic. With black and white, Spielberg had the option of selective coloring which I also believe made an emotional impact. He was able to highlight scenes and signal shift time. The style of the movie links to the style of that time period which makes it stronger. With black and white, Spielberg was able to capture the violence and emphasize the duality of good and evil. The lighting and contrast in the film enhance the cruelty of each scene. Every lighting, color and contrast situation played a role in the film and made more of an impact to make it more emotional. Schindler’s list would have a completely different effect if it were shot in color. 

This film brought to light what it was actually like to be part of the Holocaust, how horrible the situations were. Films like Schindler’s List are essential in the in understanding what actually happened, we understand the importance of speaking out, standing up for what we believe in. If Schindler wasn’t a part of that factory many of those people would have not made it. It portrays how important it is to take action against wrong because we might be the only ones willing to do the right thing. This film also shows the roles of a bystander, although there maybe be several, most will be completely helpless to help others. There were so many people who knew exactly what was going on and just watched and let it continue. Although we all learn about the Holocaust the movie makes it seem so much more real, we can see it, we can hear it, it helps us to really understand cruelty. The more we know about events such as this the less likely it will happen again. It will help make us the ones that will not watch the events taking place, but will jump right in and help people with whatever they need. 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

ENotes, Schindler’s List, www.enotes.com/schindlers-list/discuss/

Sparknotes, Schindler’s List, www.sparknotes.com/film/schindlerslist/section3.rhtml