Themovies Inglourious Basterds and Schindler’s List were nearly night and dayfilms about the occurrences during World War II. Most will agree that these twofilms approach the legacy or the overall memory of World War II and mostimportantly, the Holocaust. When we think about World War II, the first thingto someone’s head is the Holocaust. When we think about the Holocaust, we thinkabout such a tragic point in history next to slavery.
Throughout the course ofthis class, we have read many memoirs that talk about personal experiencesfrom: a woman’s experience as a child growing in concentration camps, to aman’s experience being admitted into concentration camps as an adult and was ascientist to graphic novels that was a father-son “storytelling time” to afictional graphic novel. All stories can give us readers a visual of theseHolocaust survivor experiences. We also watched two movies in class: InglouriousBasterds and Schindler’s List. These two movies were both about World War IIbut shown in two completely different ways with two different plots. InglouriousBasterds came out in 2009, so with that being less than ten years ago, thisfilm was not made anywhere close to when the World War II ended. This movie isa fictional story of two plans to put an end to Hitler’s world.
One of theplans was by Shosanna Dreyfus who is a female French Jew, and the other planwas by a little army of American soldiers who were also Jewish, that were ledby a man by the name of Lieutenant Aldo Raine. One of the antagoniststhroughout the film was Hans Landa, a Nazi who tracked down Raine’s group andwho had a big impact on Shosanna’s past. In 1941, the very first scene of thefilm Landa shows up at a French farmer’s looking for the last Jewish family inthe area whom he could not find. Landa makes a deal with him stating if herevealed the truth about the Dreyfus’, he would leave the La Padite familyalone. La Padite does tell him that the family that has been missing, washiding under the floor for awhile. After a discussion with La Padite, Landaorders his soldiers to shoot in the area of the floor that La Padite says theyare hiding. The only survivor ends up being Shosanna, who runs for her lifethrough the fields.
She had terror all over her face and she never looked backas she was running. The first scene of the film was very real due to the factthat these “visits” would happen often during the war. The Nazi’s were on ahunt making sure all Jews were either killed or taken to concentration camps.Acouple years after this occurrence, a man named Lieutenant Aldo Raine recruitedJewish-American soldiers to a team called the Basterds whom killed Nazis andalso scalped them. The beginning of the film where us viewers see the scalpinghappen shows a bit of mockery by the Basterds to the Nazi soldiers. This showsthe “comedy” side of the film and fictional side as we know there was not agroup called the “Basterds” during World War II.
Shosannacovers up her identity in Paris under an undercover name Emmanuelle Mimieux.She then meets a man by the name of Fredrick Zoller who is a German sniper. Zollertells Shosanna about his plans to be the main star in this Nazi film.Throughout the film, we see his interest in Shosanna, and he later getsapproval for the film to premiere at her cinema Shosanna agrees to it and latercomes up with a big plan with her partner, Marcel, to kill the Nazi people whoattend the premiere by burning the place down. This is her payback to theNazi’s for killing her family back in 1941. Really and truly, nothing like thisreally happened during World War II, which goes to show the fictional aspect ofthe film.
Whenever people hear about the second World War they automaticallythink about concentration camps, death, not plotting to burn down cinemas, etc.AfterShosanna plots her revenge, the rest of the film ends up being about her andher plan along with the Basterd’s plans. There was an event that occurred in anunderground bar where Germans were discovered by the Basterds. They startshooting and killing everyone in the tavern except for one Nazi who survivesuntil a woman named, Hammersmark shoots him. Raine sticks his finger into hergunshot wound in order to get information out of her. This scene shows Rainealmost taunting her by doing so to get answers. He learned that Hitler would bepresent the night of the premiere.
After everything is clear, word got outabout the shooting. Landa investigated the aftermath of the scene at thetavern and finds evidence of Hammersmark’s presence, her shoe, and a napkin. At thepremiere, two of the Basterds follow Raine as part of the plan in posing asItalians in hopes that no one would figure out their real identity ornationality.
This scene is more on the humorous side as these three Americansare trying to act as if they were Italian. The Nazi Landa who was talking tothem fell for it, however, I would say that this was the climax of the film. Hetakes Hammersmark away as everyone starts to settle in their seats. Landa pullsHammersmark into a room and figures out that the shoe from the underground bardid fit her and proceeds to strangle her to her death.
Once the truth isdiscovered, Raine and another of his men, are taken prisoner, but later Landahas Raine contact someone and cuts a deal. Little did Landa know, jokes wouldbe on him with Raine once released. Theending of the film was a very high intense scene.
During the screening, Zollertook Shosanna to a private room, hoping he would get his moment with her. Thiswas a switch up for the viewer because he was also so gentle with her and nowwe see the manipulative side of him because he did not get what he wanted. Shepretends to go along with what he wants and once the door is closed, then pullsout a gun and shoots him. Just when we think he is dead, she gets close tocheck his pulse and he pulls out a gun and shoots her where they both end updying together, but not as a happy couple. As the cinema film reaches itsclimax, the camera cuts to a video of Shosanna telling the Nazi people thatthey have walked into their death and they are about to die in the theater.
Marcel traps the people inside and then lit a pile of highly flammable film tapein a room behind the big screen as Shosanna’s tape laughs at the crowd. AsMarcel tosses the lit cigarette into the film file, the camera emphasizes theslow motion of the cigarette flipping slowly in the air and landing onto thefilm tape. This was an overly dramatic moment as the viewer is about to see whythese people are about to die. Ulmer and Donowitz who were never capturedkilled Hitler and everyone in the theater. Landa surrendered to Raine and aspayback, Raine carves a swastika into Landa’s forehead.
This also was comicalfor Raine as he is making a mockery out of the Nazi’s and their dignity.Overall, the film did not tell the story about the Holocaust in any way otherthan the first scene where Shosanna runs away and her family is murdered whilein hiding under the floor. When someone talks about the Holocaust of thinksabout a movie based off of World War II, the plot of this film would not havebeen thought of.
Thefilm Schindler’s List was the complete opposite. Not only does it tell atrue story, but it lets the viewer actually see what happened during theHolocaust and actually what life was like in concentration camps and also theviewer will feel the emotion throughout the film. The viewer is always on theirfeet.
This film is about the life of Oskar Schindler who was an ethnic Germanbusinessman, during which he saved the lives of about a thousand Jewishconcentration camp prisoners from the Holocaust. He did so by having them workfor him in his factories during World War II. Schindler, arrived in the cityhoping to make his fortune. His new partner Stern was a local Jewish officialwho had connections that would make the plans happen. Stern helped Schindlerarrange finances for the factory. Throughout the film, we see so many details ofconcentration camps. Many mothers and children got separated, which was a veryemotional and heartbreaking scene of the film because this was something thathappened often.
Seeing the terror and distraught looks on the mothers’ facesshowed how awful and evil this time period was. Many mothers and children neversaw each other again after that day or even after the war was over. There werealso scenes where prisoners were lined up and some were shot at random for noreason or if the Nazi’s felt something went wrong in the work field. Many Jewswere killed just because.
Schindler hired these Jewish workers because theircost was less, while his partner Stern was sure that as many people as possibleare very important to the German war effort, which saved them from beingtransported to concentration camps or even killed.The eyeopener for Schindler was when he saw the big mass execution of the ghettos andhe immediately realizes he must do something to help these innocent people.This film also had a little mystery to it. Whenever people talk about thisfilm, they mentioned the little girl in the red coat.
This happens to be one ofthe only splashes of color in the black and white film. Schindler does what hecan to maintain relationships with Nazi’s so in the end, they will side withhim. The scene that shocked me was seeing the innocent prisoners being shot byGoth and also seeing him treat his maid who was Jewish so badly. Seeingthe prisoners are in constant fear for their lives during this scene really stabsthe viewer because these innocent people are being killed for no reason at all.
As time passes, Schindler’s main focus changes drastically from making money totrying to do what he can to save these people. As the viewer continues towatch, you wonder if Schindler will be able to save these people, or what ifplans go through and they all die?As theGermans begin to lose the war, Nazi’s are required to continue to ship moreJews to other camps. Schindler and partner Stern create a list of people named “Schindler’s List” containing about nine-hundred people whowere to be transferred to another camp and saved them from the train ride totheir death at Auschwitz.The SSguards in Schindler’s factory were ordered to kill the Jewish workforce, butSchindler persuades them not to. During this scene the quote that was said”return to their families as men, instead of murderers” really hitme.
This really made me realize that Schindler was a pretty good person whocared about the futures of those who worked for him. Schindler is honored witha ring but feels he should have done even more to help. The last scene whereall the Schindler Jews were laying on the concrete they woke up the nextmorning to a Soviet soldier arriving to announce that they have all been saved.The Jews then leave the factory and walk to a nearby town.Therewas a sense of life at the end of the film when the scene changed from blackand white to color. This was an emotional scene of the film as the SchindlerJews all line up to visit his grave in Jerusalem. Each actor who played a partas a Schindler worker, placed stones on the grave paying their respects to theman who saved their lives during World War II.
Schindler’s List was the perfectfilm to show the most accurate version of what life was like during World WarII for Jews. The viewer was able to get a sense how poorly these innocentpeople were treated and why it has such a big impact on all people today.