The Movie "Schindler’s List": Analysis

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 3434 |

Pages: 8|

18 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

book icon Read Summary

Words: 3434|Pages: 8|18 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

The Movie “Schindler’s List”: Analysis
book icon Read Summary

"Schindler's List," directed by Steven Spielberg, is a poignant and impactful portrayal of the Holocaust during World War II in Krakow, Poland. The film focuses on the transformation of Oscar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, from a self-serving opportunist to a compassionate savior who saved over 1,100 Jewish lives.

One striking aspect of the film is its use of black and white cinematography, which authentically captures the grim reality of the Holocaust, emphasizing the stark contrast between good and evil. This artistic choice immerses viewers in the historical context and evokes a powerful emotional response.

The film's musical score, featuring Itzhak Perlman's haunting violin performance, further intensifies the emotional depth of the narrative. "Schindler's List" serves as a historical record, ensuring that the atrocities of the Holocaust are never forgotten.

In summary, this cinematic masterpiece prompts reflection on moral choices in the face of adversity and stands as a powerful reminder of the importance of bearing witness to history to prevent such horrors from recurring.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Title of movie
    Director of movie
    Producer of movie
    Release of movie
    Genre of movie
  3. Characters
  4. Setting of the movie
  5. Conflict
  6. Camera technique
  7. Analysis & Evaluation
  8. Red-coat Girl
    Black & white Background
  9. Background Music
  10. Conclusion
  11. References


The film 'Schindler's List' begins in September 1939 in the Krakow village of Poland, which was occupied by German troops during World War II. In the case of Jews, they register their family number and more than 10,000 Jews every day. They arrive at Krakow from the province. Oscar Schindler, an opportunist who pursues his own success with the times. He bought a ship factory run by a Polish Jew. He becomes a member of the Nazi Party, takes over factories and pays bribes to German troops. But Schindler is a cold-blooded opportunist, and he doesn't pay a dime for his hard work. He uses the Jews to be friends with Stern, a Jewish accountant. He begins to hear his conscience about the cold holocaust. It's a Nazi murder, and Schindler comes to face reality with his own eyes. Eventually he goes to the camp and saves the Jews.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Title of movie

The title of “Schindler’s List” comes from Thomas Kennelly’s original novel, which was first published in 1982. It was actually only titled the Schindler list of the Unites States. In Europe, it was Schindler’s ark. The title was in place by the time Spielberg got there. More importantly, the list itself is the purest summary of what Schindler has done to save Jews in his factory. It becomes a powerful symbol of Jewish survival in the face of intensive and industrialized efforts to wipe them out. The title includes two of the most important parts of the story which are the horror of the Holocaust itself and the way the Nazis found it to keep alive what they worked so hard to destroy.

Director of movie

The director of “Schindler’s List” is Steven Spielberg who is a Jewish filmmaker and producer in the United States. He is the director who has made most of the big box office hits such as “Jaws”, “E.T.”, “Jurassic Park” and Schindler’s List”, highly regarded for their box office success and quality. He is one of a handful of directors called the head or godfather of Hollywood.

Producer of movie

The producers of this film are Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig. Gerald Robert Molen is an American film producer who worked closely with Steven Spielberg, having produced Schindler’s list and won an Academy Award for co-producing it. Branko Lustig is a Croatian film producer best known for winning Academy Awards for Best Picture for Schindler’s List.

Release of movie

This film “Schindler’s List” has been released on 30th of November in 1993. The running time of this film is three hour and seventeen minutes.

Genre of movie

The genre of the “Schindler’s List” is a historical drama. It offers a slightly fictionalized account of the events that actually took place to brighten our understanding or just to remind us that they actually happened. There are some complex characters to help shrink events and smooth proceedings of the story, but otherwise the Schindler list shows the very events and people that emerged.


Oscar Schindler, the main character of 'Schindler's List,' played by Liam Neeson, is a German entrepreneur and opportunist who belongs to the Nazi Party, which lived in Poland during World War II. Schindler seems to be more interested in making money than in morality. He doesn't care about Jews at first when they are ignored and faced with danger. But as compassion grows for Jews, he sees factory workers as a rewarding human being and begins to know how the Nazis treat them. He slowly changes from a cold, greedy man to a donor. His compassion saves about 1,100 Jews in German concentration camps by sacrificing all his property to keep them all safe by bribing Nazi Party members at high risk.

Itzhak Stern, Schindler's Jewish accountant and conscience, and another protagonist in 'The Sindler List,' played by Ben Kingsley. Stern is a self-respecting intellectual in the face of the violent and inhuman conditions that Jews face under the Nazi regime. He starts working with Cinderella when the Jews are moved to Ghetto. He can influence the good and moral aspects of Schindler. Stern was the first to realize that Schindler's factory could be used as a safe haven for Jews. His patriarchal attitude toward fellow Jews in Ghetto leads him to use his position to save those who would otherwise be exterminated. He made up documents for the Jews and hired them at a factory. Stern is a man who appeals to Schindler's moral side, and at the end of the movie, the two were in love with each other.

Amon Goes, a Nazi officer in charge of building the Pleasure Work Camp, another protagonist in the 'Schindler's List,' played by Ralph Fiennes. Goes is a cruel, cold, sadistic man deeply rooted in Nazi philosophy. He represents the pure evil of the Nazi Party. Goes shows true hatred for the Jews, and sometimes shoots them recklessly on a high balcony above a labor camp. He likes Schindler. Because Schindler is as greedy as he is and can only concentrate on himself. So he grants Schindler his factory and workers. He and Schindler share many common traits, such as greed and cool-headed selfishness, but Goes is completely devoted to evil and hatred. He struggles, feeling both affection and disgust for the Jewish maid. Goose expresses all the distaste for the Nazi Party. He is executed for war crimes at the end of the movie.

Setting of the movie

The setting of movie was held at Holocaust, Poland. The largest number of Jewish casualties came from the Holocaust in Poland. About 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland before the war. Three million of them were killed in prison camps, half of whom were killed across Europe. In occupied Poland, there were six extermination camps and other concentration camps. Poland was chosen just because it had the most Jews. Ninety percent of Poland’s Jewish population has died in the Holocaust, the largest in numbers as well as in proportions. Schindler’s list was filmed in the city of Krakow, Poland, around nearby territories and mostly outside of the Jewish Ghetto and Krakow, set up when the Nazi conquered Poland. Spielberg shot the film here because it happened right here. One of the locations filmed outside Poland was the Jewish cemetery where the real Schindler is buried which is The Mount Zion Catholic Cemetery in Jerusalem.


There are two external conflicts and one internal conflict in “Schindler’s List”. One of the external conflicts is about Oskar Schindler and Amon Goeth. At the beginning of the movie, Schindler and Goeth are good friends with each other just because of economic opportunities. Schindler thought that if they remained friends, he would make more money through his factory. As the film progresses, Schindler finds out how badly Goeth actually treats his Jews. Schindler then prioritized saving as many Jews as possible from Goeth, becoming the starting point of the conflict between the two. Much would have changed if Schindler hadn't gathered the courage to go to Goeth. More people would have died in terrible ways, and there wouldn't be so many stories describing what happened in the camp. Another external conflict is about Jews and society. Even before the movie began, there was a conflict between Jews and society. Jews were rejected because they were different from what they believed in. Through this film, Jews are abused by almost every member of society, regardless of the Nazi Party. They were tortured, killed, and brutally murdered. If this were not for conflict, World War II would not have happened. If society didn't have something against the Jews, it wouldn't have been able to see mass murder, stories, movies. Lastly, internal conflict is about Oskar Schindler and his conscience. Throughout the film, Schindler has to deal with the constant conflict between himself and his conscience. His common sense is that he should stop because he is risking his life because he is saving Jews. Nevertheless, his conscience is telling him to keep saving these people. Because not only will it help him, it will also help his happiness. This once again affects intrigue because it shows a fight between good and evil. If Schindler hadn't decided that someone else's happiness was better than his own, hundreds of thousands to thousands would not have been saved by him.

Camera technique

The camera techniques that used in “Schindler’s List” are track-in shots, sideways tracking shots, dramatic over-the-shoulder shots, claustrophobic over-the-shoulder shots, track-in 2-shot and mirror entry shots. Track-in-shot is a type of camera technology, with medium-sized close-ups proceeding with stricter close-ups that physically move this type of camera to subjects. The background of movement is becoming blurred, and is generally neatly used to draw attention to the story of letters at important moments. Sideway tracking is one of the classic cinematography techniques, but Steven Spielberg always adds tremendous value to cameras and makes his tracking photos look completely different from everyone else's. His side-tracking shot is very long, and can be traced to two characters who generally walk and talk. Spielberg adds significant visual acuity to photography by placing all kinds of objects and extras between the camera and two main topics to improve the richness of the frame and the visual perception of movement. Dramatic over-shoulder shots are very common, but what Steven Spielberg shot is really something else. He typically uses wide lenses to shoot characters over the main character's shoulder, making the main character in the foreground look much bigger than other characters and conveying a dominant feel. Claustrophobic over shoulder shooting is also a camera technique. These are scenes that occupy a significant portion of the screen over the shoulder and inject the main theme into the side of the frame. Spielberg used the technique to emphasize the moment for a particular meaning and he never used it more than once in the film. Track-in-2-shot is another film technique in which the camera makes frames with two medium-sized characters and moves very slowly, ending with two tight shots. This technique is typically used to deal with scenes in which characters discuss special important topics. Mirror entry shot is the last camera technology. In the technique, the camera puts a character that is reflected in the mirror in a frame with a wide shot, followed by the character entering the frame and closing it up. This is a very effective way to switch to tight shots of the same character.

Analysis & Evaluation

Red-coat Girl

The first scene in which the color appears is the scene of a girl wearing the red coat. The reason he inserted red into the scene is said to be symbolic of the rebuke of top U.S. officials who knew the Holocaust was happening but left it unattended. The Holocaust was that no one had taken any action, even though it seemed natural for a girl to wear a red coat. Another reason why this scene is important is because Schindler changes when he sees a girl. Schindler, who only knew money at first, was shocked and changed when he saw the Holocaust. The girl reappears, when she appears as well. In the process of burning the bodies of Krakow, Schindler finds the girl's red coat, and is no longer just looking at it quietly. He regains his Jewish workers by meeting Goeth, carefully building rapport and talking about business. Later, they buy and persuade Nazi Germany to build sub-camps to protect Jews. n this film, red-coat girl represents the innocence of the Jews being slaughtered. He sees her from high atop a hill and is riveted by her, almost to the exclusion of the surrounding violence. The moment Schindler catches sight of her marks the moment when he is forced to confront the horror of Jewish life during the Holocaust and his own hand in that horror. The little girl also has a greater social significance. Her red coat suggests the “red flag” the Jews waved at the Allied powers during World War II as a cry for help. The little girl walks through the violence of the evacuation as if she can’t see it, ignoring the carnage around her. Her oblivion mirrors the inaction of the Allied powers in helping to save the Jews. Schindler later spots her in a pile of exhumed dead bodies, and her death symbolizes the death of innocence.

Black & white Background

One of the things that we have to look is the black and white background in Schindler’s List. We can barely find color except some of the scene and starting of the film. The beginning of this movie is not a black-and white movie. It begins to turn black and white as the candle is lifted up in the scene of the Jews praying. This is probably one of the elements behind the film’s time, the holocaust of the World War II, to be more devastating and realistic. In middle of the movie, the blood on the body of a red-clad girl and her body was shown in color, not in black and white, and the bloodstained body seemed to symbolize the preciousness and hope of life, revealing the horrors of the times by symbolized by despair, frustration and hope of losing extreme conditions. In films set in modern times, the director's choice to use black-and-white may seem banal and artistic. But in the Schindler list, black and white expressions effectively evoke the Second World War era and deepen the impact of the story. Black-and-white also offers the filmmaker an opportunity to use spare colors to highlight the signal changes in key scenes and times. For example, the opening full-color scene, one of only a handful of color scenes in the movie, flows to the next scene in black and white. The shift sent viewers headlong into 1939, bringing them symbolically closer to the events and characters in the story. This artistic and psychological practice of bringing the audiences back on time is partly because black-and-white images and movie scenes from the 1930s and 1940s capture the way many people visualize World War II. Although modern viewers tend to be familiar with full-color images and think such images are more realistic than black-and-white. The black-and-white in the Schindler List delivers an alternate but less realistic version of life. The film shows various styles, such as noir, which is associated with the great detective story of the 1940s. The style connects the film to that era and deepens viewers' immersion in the historical background. The artistic advantage of black and white is that it increases the violence of movies and highlights the duality of good and evil. The film noir-style lighting and contrast strengthens the brutality of each violent scene. For example, when a single-armed man was shot in the head in the snowy streets of Krakow, his seemingly black blood spreads through the pure white snow, and the stark contrast of color emphasizes the division between life and death, between good and evil. In some terrifying scenes, such as the evacuation of Krakow Ghetto, the lights remain dim, conveying a sense of panic and confusion. The white faces of the dead on the street contrast sharply with the dark background. The same contrast marks a pile of burning bodies in the Plaszow work camp; the white skull stands out in the ashes. The women's faces in the Auschwitz shower scene look up in horror and bathe in white light. The contrast between light and darkness also often half-shaded, displaying Schindler's face, reflecting the selfish dark side. His face becomes more fully lighted as he transforms from a war profiteer to a savior. Schindler's List may not have the same visual and emotional impact what Spielberg had made the film color.

Background Music

The music in Schindler List is powerful enough to emphasize most of scenes in film and make audiences feel same feeling how the Jews feel in this film. The original sound track in Schindler List includes a world-renowned violinist known as Itzhak Perlman, who is one of the Jews that Schindler saved. So, Itzhak Perlman is playing on Schindler’s List of original sound track. Perlman was in the midst of a horrific massacre at that time, so he could feel sadness and extreme fear in his performance. Itzhak Perlman said the subject of Schindler’s List is important to him and that he who knows about Jewish history contributes to the songs. He plays the song by taking it is not fiction but it is reality and irrevocable as in the film. The main theme of Schindler’s List which played with his heart, asks numerous questions beyond simply not to forget the Holocaust where a history of shame and cruelty happened. A total of 14 songs, including original scores and Itzhak Perlman’s performance, add value to the emotion of in Schindler’s List. His performance doesn’t make Schindler’s grief feel like it is just a matter of Jews.


I think the movie 'Shindler's List' played a fantastic role in showing the reality and brutality of the Holocaust as a whole. It's the first holocaust movie to have me in a seat and cry. If I can rate this film, I would like to give five out of five because there are a lot of interesting parts that are highlighting to us. This film affected me in ways I didn’t expect and cannot describe. Watching this film was an experience I believe everyone should have, and one I shall certainly never forget. Many moments and many aspects of this film have left me speechless, and even now I’m clueless as to how to describe my impression of the plot. One of the part that is highlighting in this film is that the built up is done very slowly and very subtly, you don’t realize what’s happening until it’s over and you’re suddenly at the climax, and all the feelings that have been bottling up for the past 3 hours all pour out at once. Oscar Schindler only tells us the audience he needs people for his factory, and while it’s obvious that’s not his main objective, him not saying it out loud makes his actions speak so much louder. It makes the character more flawed and interesting, almost as if you’re watching the horrors of the holocaust through an objective point of view.

Another highlighting part is about the film actually works well in black and white. We know the holocaust only from old, black and white photos. A frame from this film doesn’t look any different from these photos. From the starving to the barracks to the children, it looks horrific, but it was horrific. So many films use World War II as an easy device to make the audience cry, or to romanticize the period with great heroes, but “Schindler’s List” was none of that. It looked and felt like an honest impression of the war, terrors and all. Of course this film also contains the usual elements that can make or break a film. The performances were fantastic, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes deserve all the awards, as well as Ben Kinglsey. The cinematography was amazing, but I didn’t expect anything less from Steven Spielberg. The most outstanding element however, is easily the score. Every bit of music is better than the last, and is certainly better than the music from any other movie ever. Not only does it fit the tone perfectly, as a violinist I also have great appreciation for the melodies out of context.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

In conclusion, “Schindler’s List” is a film you have to have seen, whether you like it or not. This was said to me often, and now that I’ve seen it, I will say it to others often. It is an experience, it leaves an impression, and next to that it’s also just an excellent piece of film.


  1. Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Schindler's List: What's Up With the Title? Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  2. Wikipedia. (2019, June 28). Branko Lustig. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  3. Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Schindler's List: Genre. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  4. Madison, E. (n.d.). Schindler's List: Summary & Characters. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  5. Sparknotes. (n.d.). Character List. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  6. GradeSaver. (n.d.). Schindler's List Characters. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  7. Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Schindler's List: Setting. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  8. Keneally, T. (n.d.). Conflicts. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  9. Wikipedia. (2019, June 25). Gerald R. Molen. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  10. Videofilmmaker. (n.d.). Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  11. Sparknotes. (n.d.). The Impact of Black-and-White Film. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  12. Sparknotes. (n.d.). Symbols. Retrieved July 22, 2019, from
  13. Richards, M. (2015, December 10). Schindler's list Response. Retrieved July 23, 2019, from
Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Movie “Schindler’s List”: Analysis. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
“The Movie “Schindler’s List”: Analysis.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021,
The Movie “Schindler’s List”: Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 May 2024].
The Movie “Schindler’s List”: Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2024 May 30]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now