“HERR DIREKTOR”: BIOGRAPHY AND AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN SCHINDLER’S LIST CLIFFORDJ . MARKS ANDROBERT TORRY “I aspire to be Oskar Schindler.” —Steven Spielberg (McBride 429) Schindler’s List (1993), Steven Spielberg’s first attempt to narrate a topic as historically unwieldy as the Holocaust, tells the now famous story of a German entrepreneur, Oskar Schindler, who through a series of events transforms himself from a practical capitalist into a savior. In the film, Schindler trades in his wealth to protect his Jewish workers from the gas chambers at Auschwitz, in the end bankrupting himself and his business. Often construed as the most significant cinematic statement on the Holo- caust, Schindler’s List has already made the leap from popular culture to historical and educational material. A major television network has broad- cast the film with little or no commercial interruption, and it is often shown in high schools to teach students about the Holocaust. Receiving an Oscar for the Best Film of 1993, Schindler’s List was a remarkable com- mercial and aesthetic success. Most mainstream critics lauded Spielberg’s storytelling abilities, and his Hollywood brethren held up the film as an unparalleled achievement. Though a few writers, journals, and newspapers checked in with some critical
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Dec 1, 2099
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