Hello dear reader(s)!
Notice that I did not say my favorite movie of all time. My favorite movie, for entertainment, well, that is probably The Boondock Saints or I Love You, Man. But the greatest movie? The most powerful, moving, important movie? Without a doubt in my mind it is Schindler’s List. There are many great movies, but this one is such a stunning masterpiece, that Spielberg can never tarnish his reputation, even after making Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
No other movie so brilliantly reflects both the darkness of humanity and the heroic compassion. No other movie speaks so eloquently about the dangers of giving in to the need to feel superior and the ability one person has to make a real difference and literally save lives. Spielberg’s use of black and white, to echo the actual footage of the time is so effective in bringing back the emotion one sees when they first see the horrific chapter in human history. It made me want to learn even more about the Holocaust, the attitudes that led up to it, other attempts at genocide, and the human ability to stand up to those who would dehumanize others or try to categorize others to advance their power.
I have to thank Andrew at adopting james, for reminding me of this film in his post about Spielberg today. Head on over and check it out.
I have come across many posts and tweets and other opinions expressed on social media that has me scratching my head. It is the same “people need to accept personal responsibility for their lives” refrain that was used to further persuade people that the Jews deserved the treatment they were getting because they could not get out of the system that was brutally oppressing for years. And that led to further laws that would make it even harder for the people to make it. And still some did, which just served as evidence in the minds of the hateful that if one tries hard enough, one can overcome any obstacle. Does this sound familiar? It is happening now. I ask you to put yourself in the old, worn out shoes of the Jews who were literally walled off into ghettos (as opposed to figuratively with minorities today) and ask you to think about whether you could “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” against a system working to keep you down. Now apply it to the cases of today. Accept some personal responsibility of showing empathy.
It is easy to blame other people and say they are not working hard enough in order to ignore the realities of the suffering that is happening around you. They did it with the Jews, they did it with the Armenians, they do it with people who are ill, they do it with those in poverty. How long before they do it to you?
In this world, as the wealthy look to expand their power and insatiable appetites, I would like to think that their are people like Oskar Schindler.
And so I ask…are you one of them?