6. ‘Schindler’s List’
Unquestionably the iconic film of the Holocaust, “Schindler’s List” is based on Australian Thomas Keneally’s novel “Schindler’s Ark.” Liam Neeson stars as Oskar Schindler in the 1993 American drama, saving Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories. Director Steven Spielberg refused to be paid for the picture, saying it would be akin to taking “blood money.” Looking to “Shoah” for inspiration, Spielberg recreated the past by using the German and Polish language, but decided to include English because “there’s too much safety in reading. It would have been an excuse to take their eyes off the screen and watch something else.” Black and white, while challenging for his color cinematographer, provided timelessness, while a handheld camera brought immediacy to the action. Spielberg was convinced that the film would be a flop, but it was a box office success and went on to win seven Academy Awards.