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Schindler's List

            When we think of the name Steven Spielberg we instantly think "action packed film", after all he is the creator of such films as Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Arc. However most movie critics will agree that Spielberg's most action packed film is one that retells the story of Oskar Schindler. In the movie Schindler's List Spielberg takes us inside the soul of a man who made a choice, a man who valued humanity more then greed. It is remarkable how man is fascinated with the idea of free will and just what exactly drives us to make the choices we do. The counterpoint between Oskar Schindler's greed and Oskar Schindler's kindness -- the kindness that saved over one thousand Jews from being swallowed up by the Holocaust -- cannot be overemphasized, for greed and kindness are two of the basic, natural factors that motivate human action, and they are fundamentally opposed to each other. The idea that a single human being, compelled by those two forces, would choose to save others while risking his own life, is as uplifting as any other. The fact that we cannot tell when Schindler decided why he should save those lives matters only a little. The fact that he decided at all tells us what we need to know: first he did it because he realized he was losing money (greed), and then he did it because it had to be done (kindness). To reiterate, those two psychological motivators, which regularly defeat each other, served the same purpose: saving lives. At the same time, Spielberg does not exactly wave a flag and jump for joy at the majesty of the human race. Quite the opposite; his documentary-like epic, its running time surpassing one hundred ninety minutes, mercilessly lays bare for us all the ugliness and cruelty of mankind by reenacting -- with peerless accuracy -- what is arguably the most shameful chapter in mankind's recent history, when six million men, women and children were slain because one man wanted it that way, and had the charisma and the power to facilitate the massacre.

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