movies Inglourious Basterds and Schindler’s List were nearly night and day
films about the occurrences during World War II. Most will agree that these two
films approach the legacy or the overall memory of World War II and most
importantly, the Holocaust. When we think about World War II, the first thing
to someone’s head is the Holocaust. When we think about the Holocaust, we think
about such a tragic point in history next to slavery. Throughout the course of
this class, we have read many memoirs that talk about personal experiences
from: a woman’s experience as a child growing in concentration camps, to a
man’s experience being admitted into concentration camps as an adult and was a
scientist to graphic novels that was a father-son “storytelling time” to a
fictional graphic novel. All stories can give us readers a visual of these
Holocaust survivor experiences. We also watched two movies in class: Inglourious
Basterds and Schindler’s List. These two movies were both about World War II
but shown in two completely different ways with two different plots.
Basterds came out in 2009, so with that being less than ten years ago, this
film was not made anywhere close to when the World War II ended. This movie is
a fictional story of two plans to put an end to Hitler’s world. One of the
plans was by Shosanna Dreyfus who is a female French Jew, and the other plan
was by a little army of American soldiers who were also Jewish, that were led
by a man by the name of Lieutenant Aldo Raine. One of the antagonists
throughout the film was Hans Landa, a Nazi who tracked down Raine’s group and
who had a big impact on Shosanna’s past. In 1941, the very first scene of the
film Landa shows up at a French farmer’s looking for the last Jewish family in
the area whom he could not find. Landa makes a deal with him stating if he
revealed the truth about the Dreyfus’, he would leave the La Padite family
alone. La Padite does tell him that the family that has been missing, was
hiding under the floor for awhile. After a discussion with La Padite, Landa
orders his soldiers to shoot in the area of the floor that La Padite says they
are hiding. The only survivor ends up being Shosanna, who runs for her life
through the fields. She had terror all over her face and she never looked back
as she was running. The first scene of the film was very real due to the fact
that these “visits” would happen often during the war. The Nazi’s were on a
hunt making sure all Jews were either killed or taken to concentration camps.
couple years after this occurrence, a man named Lieutenant Aldo Raine recruited
Jewish-American soldiers to a team called the Basterds whom killed Nazis and
also scalped them. The beginning of the film where us viewers see the scalping
happen shows a bit of mockery by the Basterds to the Nazi soldiers. This shows
the “comedy” side of the film and fictional side as we know there was not a
group called the “Basterds” during World War II.
covers 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. Zoller
tells 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 gets
approval for the film to premiere at her cinema Shosanna agrees to it and later
comes up with a big plan with her partner, Marcel, to kill the Nazi people who
attend the premiere by burning the place down. This is her payback to the
Nazi’s for killing her family back in 1941. Really and truly, nothing like this
really happened during World War II, which goes to show the fictional aspect of
the film. Whenever people hear about the second World War they automatically
think about concentration camps, death, not plotting to burn down cinemas, etc.
Shosanna plots her revenge, the rest of the film ends up being about her and
her plan along with the Basterd’s plans. There was an event that occurred in an
underground bar where Germans were discovered by the Basterds. They start
shooting and killing everyone in the tavern except for one Nazi who survives
until a woman named, Hammersmark shoots him. Raine sticks his finger into her
gunshot wound in order to get information out of her. This scene shows Raine
almost taunting her by doing so to get answers. He learned that Hitler would be
present the night of the premiere. After everything is clear, word got out
about the shooting. Landa investigated the aftermath of the scene at the
tavern and finds evidence of Hammersmark’s presence, her shoe, and a napkin.
premiere, two of the Basterds follow Raine as part of the plan in posing as
Italians in hopes that no one would figure out their real identity or
nationality. This scene is more on the humorous side as these three Americans
are trying to act as if they were Italian. The Nazi Landa who was talking to
them fell for it, however, I would say that this was the climax of the film. He
takes Hammersmark away as everyone starts to settle in their seats. Landa pulls
Hammersmark into a room and figures out that the shoe from the underground bar
did fit her and proceeds to strangle her to her death. Once the truth is
discovered, Raine and another of his men, are taken prisoner, but later Landa
has Raine contact someone and cuts a deal. Little did Landa know, jokes would
be on him with Raine once released.
ending of the film was a very high intense scene. During the screening, Zoller
took Shosanna to a private room, hoping he would get his moment with her. This
was a switch up for the viewer because he was also so gentle with her and now
we see the manipulative side of him because he did not get what he wanted. She
pretends to go along with what he wants and once the door is closed, then pulls
out a gun and shoots him. Just when we think he is dead, she gets close to
check his pulse and he pulls out a gun and shoots her where they both end up
dying together, but not as a happy couple. As the cinema film reaches its
climax, the camera cuts to a video of Shosanna telling the Nazi people that
they 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 tape
in a room behind the big screen as Shosanna’s tape laughs at the crowd. As
Marcel tosses the lit cigarette into the film file, the camera emphasizes the
slow motion of the cigarette flipping slowly in the air and landing onto the
film tape. This was an overly dramatic moment as the viewer is about to see why
these people are about to die. Ulmer and Donowitz who were never captured
killed Hitler and everyone in the theater. Landa surrendered to Raine and as
payback, Raine carves a swastika into Landa’s forehead. This also was comical
for 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 other
than the first scene where Shosanna runs away and her family is murdered while
in hiding under the floor. When someone talks about the Holocaust of thinks
about a movie based off of World War II, the plot of this film would not have
been thought of.
film Schindler’s List was the complete opposite. Not only does it tell a
true story, but it lets the viewer actually see what happened during the
Holocaust and actually what life was like in concentration camps and also the
viewer will feel the emotion throughout the film. The viewer is always on their
feet. This film is about the life of Oskar Schindler who was an ethnic German
businessman, during which he saved the lives of about a thousand Jewish
concentration camp prisoners from the Holocaust. He did so by having them work
for him in his factories during World War II. Schindler, arrived in the city
hoping to make his fortune. His new partner Stern was a local Jewish official
who had connections that would make the plans happen. Stern helped Schindler
arrange finances for the factory. Throughout the film, we see so many details of
concentration camps. Many mothers and children got separated, which was a very
emotional and heartbreaking scene of the film because this was something that
happened often. Seeing the terror and distraught looks on the mothers’ faces
showed how awful and evil this time period was. Many mothers and children never
saw each other again after that day or even after the war was over. There were
also scenes where prisoners were lined up and some were shot at random for no
reason or if the Nazi’s felt something went wrong in the work field. Many Jews
were killed just because. Schindler hired these Jewish workers because their
cost was less, while his partner Stern was sure that as many people as possible
are very important to the German war effort, which saved them from being
transported to concentration camps or even killed.
opener for Schindler was when he saw the big mass execution of the ghettos and
he immediately realizes he must do something to help these innocent people.
This film also had a little mystery to it. Whenever people talk about this
film, they mentioned the little girl in the red coat. This happens to be one of
the only splashes of color in the black and white film. Schindler does what he
can to maintain relationships with Nazi’s so in the end, they will side with
him. The scene that shocked me was seeing the innocent prisoners being shot by
Goth and also seeing him treat his maid who was Jewish so badly. Seeing
the prisoners are in constant fear for their lives during this scene really stabs
the 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 to
trying to do what he can to save these people. As the viewer continues to
watch, you wonder if Schindler will be able to save these people, or what if
plans go through and they all die?
Germans begin to lose the war, Nazi’s are required to continue to ship more
Jews to other camps. Schindler and partner Stern create a list of people named
“Schindler’s List” containing about nine-hundred people who
were to be transferred to another camp and saved them from the train ride to
their death at Auschwitz.
guards in Schindler’s factory were ordered to kill the Jewish workforce, but
Schindler persuades them not to. During this scene the quote that was said
“return to their families as men, instead of murderers” really hit
me. This really made me realize that Schindler was a pretty good person who
cared about the futures of those who worked for him. Schindler is honored with
a ring but feels he should have done even more to help. The last scene where
all the Schindler Jews were laying on the concrete they woke up the next
morning 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.
was a sense of life at the end of the film when the scene changed from black
and white to color. This was an emotional scene of the film as the Schindler
Jews all line up to visit his grave in Jerusalem. Each actor who played a part
as a Schindler worker, placed stones on the grave paying their respects to the
man who saved their lives during World War II. Schindler’s List was the perfect
film to show the most accurate version of what life was like during World War
II for Jews. The viewer was able to get a sense how poorly these innocent
people were treated and why it has such a big impact on all people today.