The story behind the making of Schindler’s List and the development of a foundation dedicated to sharing Holocaust testimonies.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the foundation and the film, this commemorative work is divided into two sections. After an introduction from Steven Spielberg, the first part recounts the process of making Schindler’s List. The material in this section is wide-ranging and includes an account of the maturation process of Spielberg’s directorial ability, the chance encounter that sparked the book behind the movie, certain cinematographic techniques utilized in the film and the experience of having Holocaust survivors visiting the movie set in Poland. The Schindlerjuden, “Schindler Jews,” interacting with the cast and crew inspired Spielberg to initiate the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which works from the premise that the “last act of genocide is always denial and silence”; the foundation collects and catalogs oral histories of the Holocaust. The second part of the book discusses the process of building, developing and expanding this foundation. Initially, Spielberg aimed for narratives from 50,000 Holocaust survivors and rescue-worker witnesses. However, once that goal was reached and exceeded, the foundation used these testimonies in their production of documentaries. More recently, this foundation, which grew out of a desire to ensure that the Holocaust will never happen again, expanded into collecting accounts from the Armenian, Rwandan and Cambodian genocides. With the connection to USC, these eyewitness stories serve as educational tools that will elicit the strong emotive response necessary for the prevention of future attempts at genocide. This general history of the film and the foundation has a promotional feel as it also discusses exciting new technological directions for the foundation.
An informative coffee table book for film buffs and those interested in Jewish history.