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How effective is the liquidation of the ghetto scene in portraying the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust

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Introduction

How effective is the "liquidation of the ghetto" scene in portraying the plight of the Jews during the Holocaust Steven Spielberg directs Schindler's List, a film about the plight of the Jews in World War Two. There are many techniques used by Steven Spielberg to great effect but the main ones are the use of shadow and contrapuntal sound to portray the experiences and the extreme terror that the Jews must have felt when this happened. It also shows the audience how brutal the Nazis were when liquidating the ghetto. The first extract is a comparison of Goeth and Schindler shaving; this routine exemplifies the similarities that they share, each holding vast amounts of power, yet also possessing comparable weaknesses. For example, appearance is very important to both of them. In addition they both possess comparable weaknesses. Their similarities, however, are in a minority compared to their differences. For instance Goeth shaves in the dark with short, erratic actions. The dark is associated with the capability to be evil and the shaving movements have a strangely stiff, regimented manner which suggests that Goeth is not an individual but a small part in the large Nazi military machine. ...read more.

Middle

The muzzles also convey a sense of insincerity because, they the soldiers are trying to trick the Jews into thinking that they do not really want to hurt them by putting muzzles on the dogs but it is a false truth for the most likely thing that is going to hurt them is the Nazis themselves. The Jews are being evicted from one of the apartment blocks by the Nazis. The building itself is made to look foreboding like a prison by the use of a low angle shot which enhances the size of the building. While the black and white of the film makes it seem ominous, the small deep set windows are depressing views into the captivity that the Jews have to suffer. Spielberg uses monochrome in the whole film to underline the many differences between the Nazi soldiers and the Jewish people, and between Goeth and Oscar Schindler,[JM1] there is a lot of shouting in German, piercing whistles and trampling boots. These are diegetic sounds which can be heard when they storm the building and terrify anyone in the vicinity. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then we see her walking in completely the opposite way from the streams of other people, and the camera is focused solely on her, leading us to believe that she is somehow a vital part of this story. No guards make any move to stop her; it is as if she is invisible. The contrapuntal and non-diegetic sound in this scene is of a choir of children, contrasting with the clashes and shouts and gunshots in the background. It is a heart-in-the-mouth moment because it feels as if at any time someone is going to turn around and shoot her, but it passes and she quietly slips into a building and runs into a room and hides under the bed. It is at this point that the viewer knows that she is not going to live because the colour slowly fades from her coat into a grey; it is as if the hope has faded from her. In conclusion it can be said that the "liquidation of the ghetto" scene is extremely effective in portraying the plight of the Jews because it examines what it would have been like to experience it. Steven Spielberg does this by using lots of different methods like different camera shots and digetic and non-digetic sound which gives it a unique and personal feel. [JM1] ...read more.

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