The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Confessional 2: Schindler’s List

Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

Well, I certainly wanted to see Schindler’s List. Back in high school, right before I turned 18, a buddy of mine and I spent most of a summer together, goofing around and going to see a lot of movies. We tried to get in to see Schindler’s List, and were refused. I don’t even remember what the theater official looked like, but let me say this: The time to toe the line and enforce age restrictions for movies is not when two well-meaning kids on the cusp of legality are trying to get in to see what is universally being hailed as an Important Movie. Save that for pimply faced punkasses trying to finagle their way into Vampire Sorority Babes. So why haven’t I just rented it since then? I’m afraid to. Every person I’ve asked to watch it with me has begged off, saying their first (and only) viewing of the best picture winner was one of the most harrowing and unpleasant experiences of their lives. I once suggested a best-picture-a-thon to my friend (and fellow CC2k staff member) The Red Baron, and he looked at my list and said, “Ugh — I’ll watch everything else. Just not Schindler’s List again.” I’m still interested. Who’s with me?! Rebuttal: It’s Too Important NOT to seeBy Rob Van Winkle, CC2k staff writer I vividly remember my first (and, come to think of it, only) time watching Schindler’s List. I was in high school, and I was just beginning to embrace my identity as a Jewish person. This movie was released, and it received almost unanimous acclaim. People of all races and religions were flocking to see it, as though to truly understand and get inside this horrible yet undeniably important chapter in history. The day I went to see it, my father and I drove an hour down to Albany (there was no other theater nearby that was playing it). On the way, I saw a good friend of mine and his girlfriend on the highway, also driving to Albany. We ended up at the same mall, in the same movie theater line. Our conversation went like this: Him: What movie are you going to see? Me: Schindler’s List. I expect it to be one of the best movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Are you going to see it too? Him: No. I think you have more of a reason than we do to see that. Me: (Sucker punched) Oh. I was so happy about the movie because it seemed to have transcended religion, but this dude from my 99% Christian home town slammed it right back into the genre of “Jew Movie.”  Therefore, I guess for me, this movie was important both for being a beautiful film that handles very difficult subject matter with grace and skill, but also because it made people from my hometown (and other small towns across the country) learn about and empathize with a people, and a time, about which they were seemingly wholly ignorant before.Now believe it or not, despite all this, I too have only seen it that one time. I do OWN it, and I have a large movie poster framed in my home, but the fact remains that it IS a difficult movie to sit through, and as I’ve stated above, I personally don’t typically find myself with the time or the inclination to watch three hour movies with my spare time – even movies that I profess to love.So Tony (and everyone else out there who hasn’t seen Schindler’s List, but is thinking about it), you are right that it is an important movie, and you are certainly right that the cinema employee who kicked you out of the theater made a terrible mistake that day. You will find a story that is inspirational even as it horrifies, acting performances that will engender a lifelong respect for the performers (I will always think that Ralps Fiennes is one of the best actors working today, and as much as I like Tom Hanks and was impressed with his job in Philadelphia, Liam Neeson was robbed of his Oscar.), and a movie that helps immeasurably in the mandate that none of us ever forget what happened during the Holocaust.But make no mistake, you are right that it is hard to watch. It doesn’t pull punches, but sometimes you have to stand and take the hit, to make yourself stronger in the long run.Go for it. See it. You’ll be glad you did. {mos_sb_discuss:4}