by Barry Germansky

 

With Schindler’s List (1993), Steven Spielberg achieved what so many other filmmakers had deemed impossible. This masterpiece was a breakthrough in the historical epic, the comprehensive dramatization of the horrors of the Holocaust, and the navigation through and around a supremely difficult “crisis of representation.” It was also a breakthrough in film aesthetics, merging expressionism with gritty faux realism to recreate and comment upon a time of unprecedented atrocities. In light of the recent surge in both worldwide anti-Semitism and the malevolent-at-worst, ignorant-at-best hijacking of the Holocaust to further unconscionable anti-Israel campaigns, audiences should be encouraged to watch – or rewatch – this profoundly important film as part of an equally important history lesson.