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Lanzmann Believes Schindler's List Was Not A Credible Movie

1831 words - 8 pages

Lanzmann believes that Schindler's List should never have been made for many reasons. Primarily, Lanzmann disagrees with Schindler's List because there were many technicalities and imprecise scenes which he dislikes. In his review, Lanzmann comments on how the Holocaust is trivialised and transgressed in Schindler's List, and often compares Schindler's List to his own motion picture, Shoah. Shoah and Schindler's List have many critical differences, and take different approaches. In Shoah we see survivors telling impersonal stories, like a 'spokesman' for the dead. On the contrary, Schindler's List is an individual story about survival. Lanzmann also believes that the Holocaust was transcendent, and that one could not re-experience, or accurately portray the events, with the same atmosphere, feeling and emotion that the Holocaust had, and that Schindler's List is an 'Impossible story'.
One of the reasons that Lanzmann believes that Schindler's List should never have been made is due to the common inaccuracies. Lanzmann said that the film is 'swarming with ambiguous and dangerous scenes', one of which shows Schindler bargaining with traditionally dressed orthodox Jews who take out handfuls of money and give them to Schindler. This illustrates the stereotype of Jews with money. In his review, Lanzmann criticises this scene, and the inaccuracies within it, because he believes 'one should instead, have worked with a pair of tweezers'. In addition, although the scene was not intended to be comical, the stereotypes introduced a humorous aspect to the film. Another light-hearted and amusing scene is where women are trying for the job of Schindler's secretary. During this scene jolly violin music is played and there is constant chatter and laughing. Lanzmann thinks that scenes like that were inappropriate and potentially made other aspects of the film unimportant.
Another aspect of the scene explaining why Lanzmann believes that Schindler's List should never have been made is the depiction of the emptying of mass graves, add experiences inside concentration camps. He disagrees with the depiction of such horrific moments because he believes that Spielberg could not do justice to what he was trying to portray because he could not 'tell the story of Schindler without also telling what the Holocaust has been'. In the review, Lanzmann goes on to say that there is a similar, but significantly different, scene in Shoah about the emptying of the mass graves, The fundamental difference between the two films is that the scene in Shoah is described, however in Schindler's List, it is displayed. In Shoah there is a survivor who tells of how he had to open the mass graves. When watching him describe how he recognised his mother and his three sisters and their children lying dead in the graves, one witnesses the suffering on his face as he explains the horrifying moment. Lanzmann said: 'Suddenly I realise that Spielberg shows everything that I left out in Shoah'.
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