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In the film the Schindler's List why do you think the film was made in black and white...

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clarinet09 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:48 AM via web

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In the film the Schindler's List why do you think the film was made in black and white and not in color?

In the film the Schindler's List why do you think the film was made in black and white and not in color?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:00 AM (Answer #2)

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This is a good question. When I saw the movie for the first time, this threw me off, but when I watched it a second time I saw the power of it.

The type of film a director uses make a huge difference. Part of the reason for this is because the form of something has certain connotations. In this sense, the form of something is a conveyor or meaning, just like the content.

So, in the case of the film, Schindler's List, the black and white film brings the viewer of the film back into the time period of World War II, where black and white was what filmmakers used in that time period. For this reason, it gives a sense that we were actually there. Also it gives the film a very documentary feeling, in my opinion. This, too, has certain connotations, namely, that what you are watching is not merely a movie for entertainment, but a documentary for education.

 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 30, 2011 at 6:01 AM (Answer #3)

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I agree with the previous post. B&W film was the way most of the people saw the newsreel footage of the war during the 1940s (color was still quite rare and expensive at the time), and it gave the film a realistic look, especially to the older audiences who remembered that tragic time. Of course, there is one scene shot in color: one of blood draining from a body of yet another Jewish victim. The single color image is overwhelmingly powerful shot against the otherwise B&W background.

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted November 30, 2011 at 11:05 PM (Answer #4)

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I agree with post 2.  I think the B&W film made the overall story much more captivating and poignant.  It was an artistic choice to create the film in B&W and it worked.  The story stands out rather than the costumes or individual scenes.  The viewer is able to focus on the plot and the ideas rather than the colorful images.  We feel transported back in time by the feel of the B&W.  It really adds a lot to the overall look of the piece.  I don't think the film would be as powerful if it was in full color.  The first time I saw this film I remember wondering why in the world it was in B&W.  By the end of the movie, I no longer noticed the lack of color because the story stood out so strongly.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 16, 2012 at 6:55 AM (Answer #5)

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I'd suggest the idea that there is a thematic reason for the choice of black and white in Shindler's List. This is a film about false distinctions, about fitting in or not fitting in based on shaky political group-thinking.

The black and white of the film reinforces the similarities between all the characters in the film.

Also, the Nazi's wanted to be absolute. It was a black and white edict they attempted to carry out concerning Jews. Yet, even in a country and a situation dominated by such thinking, Shindler was able to find ways to insist upon nuance and distinction. He saved people by differentiating them from the "lot".

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