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April 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Nancy Nietupski <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Apr 1994 10:12:22 -0400
text/plain (89 lines)
     I am sending this to two different lists with the hope that
I will find one person with the address I need.  The internet
community is a wonderful resourse is this respect.
     Last Easter Sunday the senior minister at our church gave
a wonderful and moving sermon titled _The Resurrection of Oskar
Schindler_ and I would like to send Steven Spielberg a copy.
     Here is an excerpt from it:
Dr. David Rankin, Senior Minister
Fountain Street Chruch, Grand Rapids, Mi.
.....Generally, our culture is geared for the opposite approach, as
we expose the clay feet of prominent people, with a gleeful
     We tear down ice
     skaters...disparage old generals....castigate fine
     doctors...condemn smart lawyers...and denounce
     rich rock stars -- taking a ghoulish
     satisfaction in destroying the high and mighty.
Yet it is much more interesting, and infinitely more valuable, to
analyze those with entirely clay bodies, but who have unusual
streaks of kindness -- and that is the theme of a remarkable film.
     On one level, Schindler's List is a testament to the importance
of memory.....In the same way, Schindler's List is an awakening of
memory: of the atrocities committed; of the suffering endured; of
the silence of the world -- of an event that must never be forgotten.
     Steven Spielberg is the creative spirit behind the film. As
the director of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T.,
Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, and Jurassic Park, he
received popular praise and box-office records.  These were prima-
rily films for children, extremely well-crafted and unanimously
entertaining, but lacking the serious critical acclaim.
     On another level, the, Schindler's List is a profoundly
personal offering from a sensitive genius.  Acquiring the rights to
the book, written by Thomas Keneally, Spielberg sat on the project
for eleven years.  Recently, He explained the delay by saying:
     "I didn't know how to make it in 1982.  This is the
     first film I've made as a person, not as a film-
     maker.  In '82, I wasn't ready.  I made this movie
     from who I am when I'm not making movies-- if that
     makes any sense -- and because of that, it was the
     personal experience I ever had!"
It is a statement indicative of some underlying guilt.  It was
a "healthy" guilt that pushed the successful director into an arena
of enormous significance.
     For the artist, it was a difficult minefield.
         Financially, how do you portray the horror of the
            Holocaust, and still draw a large audience?
         Politically, how do you portray a German hero,
            without dinimishing the courage of Jews?
         Psychologically, how do you portray complicated
            motives, without resorting to simplicity?
While I have no credentials as a film critic.  I believe Spielberg
conquered the artistic dilemma.  Every scene is a portrait with a
delicate balance, with a genuine ring of truth.
    On still another level, the, Schindler's List is about the
triumph of the human spirit over sadism and indifference, but it is
not the typical heroic plot.
     Why did Schindler turn against the Nazis to
        Sympathize with the despised minority?
     Why did Schindler risk his life to defend the
         Condemned prisoners?
     Why did Schindler spend a great fortune to
         barter for the Jewish employees?
It is a moral mystery which Spielberg does not resolve, a wise
choice, since there are no definitive answers.
    It is a wonderful sermon, and I would like to send the whole
thing to Mr. Spielberg.  Does anyone have an address I can send it
Please excuse my spelling errors.
Nancy Nietupski
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