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Schindlers List 1993 is Steven Spielbergs award-winning masterpiece - a profoundly shocking unsparing fact-based three-hour long epic of the nightmarish Holocaust Its documentary authenticity vividly re-creates a dark frightening period during World War II when Jews in Nazi-occupied Krakow were first dispossessed of their businesses and homes then placed in ghettos and forced labor camps in Plaszow and finally resettled in concentration camps for execution The violence and brutality of their treatment in a series of matter-of-fact and horrific incidents is indelibly and brilliantly orchestrated Except for the bookends its opening and closing scenes and two other brief shots the little girl in a red coat and candles burning with orange flames the entire film in-between is shot in crisp black and white The film is marvelous for the way in which it crafts its story without contrived manipulative Hollywood-ish flourishes - it is also skillfully rendered with overlapping dialogue parallel editing sharp and bold characterizations contrasting compositions of the two main characters Schindler and Goeth cinematographic beauty detailing shadows and light with film-noirish tones jerky hand-held cameras cinema verite a beautifully selected and composed musical score including Itzhak Perlmans violin and gripping performances The screenplay by Steven Zaillian was adapted from Thomas Keneallys 1982 biographic novel Schindlers Ark constructed by interviews with 50 Schindler survivors found in many nations and other wartime associates of the title character as well as other written testimonies and sources Oskar Schindler was an enterprising womanizing Nazi Sudeten-German industrialistopportunist and war profiteer who first exploited JewishPolish workers in a successful enamelware factory and eventually rescued more than one thousand of them from certain death The unanimously-praised film with a modest budget of 23 million deservedly won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture Best Director the first for Spielberg Best Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Best Adapted Screenplay Best Original Score John Williams Best Editing Michael Kahn and Best Art Direction It also won nominations for two of its
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