Coming to DVD blu-ray March 5th from director Steven Spielberg and Universal Home Entertainment for its 20th Anniversary is one of the most emotional and beautiful films ever made with SCHINDLER’S LIST: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition.
This film tells the story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), starting out as a member of the Nazi party he sees the war as a way to make money. Starting a factory with 1,100 Jews he make crockery and sells to the Germans. Handling his financial affairs is Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley), an accountant who is also a Jewish prisoner in the camp.
Running the camp is Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), a man without a conscience who doesn’t see the prisoners as people. So much so that shooting them randomly from the balcony of his home high atop a hill is his sport.
As the war becomes more precarious, Schindler finds that money isn’t all he thought it would be. With the help of Itzhak, they plan for their survival with a list that becomes life.
FINAL WORD: Neeson as Oskar Schindler is nothing short of stunning and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance. Personally I believe he should have won it. Here is a man who was motivated by money and a whimsical life in the midst of horror. Schindler could quite as easily stayed that course but watching his character grow a conscience is subtle. Neeson captures that until the very end in the poignant scene between himself and Kingsley as the war ends.
Kingsley as Itzhak Stern is also nothing short of stellar in this role. Although playing the role of a quiet man who takes in everything that is around him, there is an eloquence that Kingsley brings. Helping Schindler put together a task that had every reason to fail, this actor brings humble and honor to the role of Stern.
Fiennes as Goeth truly has audiences hating him from the moment he lands on screen and THAT is the sign of great acting. Fiennes is a tremendous talent and plays every role to its fullest. Here, it’s the duality of a man who lives the life of a Nazi to the fullest and cruelest yet knows everything he does is wrong. This actor once again makes us believe in the terror of Goeth.
The entire cast, to which I truly wish I could name each one, their part in this film lent to the heart-wrenching story and beauty of the film. Each of their faces and stories brought the film its life and brought viewers deep into a time many still know so little about.
Spielberg adapted the screenplay from the novel by Thomas Keneally and filmed entirely in Poland and is brought as only this director can.
Other cast includes: Caroline Goodall as Emilie Schindler, Embeth Davidtz as Helen Hirsch, Jonathan Sagall as Poldek Pfefferberg, Malgorzata Gebel as Wiktoria Klonowska, Shmuel Levy as Wilek Chilowicz, Mark Ivanir as Marcel Goldberg, Beatrice Macola as Ingrid, Andrzej Seweryn as Julian Scherner, Friedrich von Thun as Rolf Czurda, Krzysztof Luft as Herman Toffel, Harry Nehring as Leo John and Norbet Weisser as Albert Hujar.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment, part of NBC Universal, is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies that bring news, entertainment television and motion pictures to viewers. Learn more about this amazing studio at www.universalstudios.com.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give the DVD of SCHINDLER’S LIST five tubs of popcorn out of five. There is nothing about this film that can be challenged or picked apart as each frame is impeccable. SCHINDLER’S LIST is entirely in black and white, which not only lends to the era for the film but taking away any distraction from the true emotion the film brings.
In this special 20th Anniversary Limited Edition of SCHINDLER’S LIST, Spielberg has taken the original film negative and restored it in pristine high definition. Personally supervising the project bringing the original 35mm to blu-ray the film is even more powerful.
The films release also marks the 20th year of the USC SHOAH FOUNDATION – The Institute for Visual History and Education. Established in 1994 by Spielberg it is an organization that videotapes and interviews survivors of the Holocaust. To date there are over 52,000 testimonies and personal histories of genocide. For more please go to sfi.usc.edu.
This limited edition also includes a blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet and Digital Copy. The bonus features include: “Voices from the List”- testimonies from Schindler’s Jews, “USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg.
In the end…one person can make a difference.
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