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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Power

  • What does it mean to Oskar Schindler to have power? Amon Goeth? Schindler says to Goeth, “Power is when we have every justification to kill and we don’t.” What do you think he means by that? Is this power justified? Why or why not?

  • How is power defined in the film? Do all the characters have power? How? Do the Jews have any power? Who has the “power” on your floor or campus? Is all power good? Explain.

  • Why do you think people did what they did in the film? Describe possible reasoning for their behavior. What are influences in peoples’ lives that encourage or support their actions? What role does the government have in this entire Holocaust?

  • Describe Amon Goeth’s control over his servant. Why do you think he uses power the way he does with her? He seems conflicted when he’s thinking about her as to what is right and wrong. What do you think is going through his mind? Why do you think he doesn’t make her wear the Star of David? How have you witnessed control and power used this way in your life? How has it had an impact on you?

  • Oskar Schindler and Itzhak Stern say that the list is an “absolute good”. What do you think is meant by that? Do you think it is an “absolute good”? Why or why not? Is there such a thing as an “absolute good”? An “absolute evil”? Why or why not?

  • What role did money have in the film as it relates to the work of Schindler? Why was money effective? Can it “buy” everything? Why or why not? How do you see money being used on campus? Does it separate people or bring them together? How?

  • Trust seemed incredibly important to Schindler. Why do you think people trusted him? What characteristics did you see that made him trustworthy? Are there people who you know that work hard to gain others’ trust? Why is this important? How do you know when you can trust another person?

Leadership

  • Why do you believe that people do what they do in the film? Are there certain characteristics that seem to influence people the most? What are they? What are common characteristics that influence people on your campus?

  • Describe how peer pressure influenced some decisions for the characters in this film. As you saw Nazis randomly killing, do you think there is a role of peer pressure? Who seemed to influence whom? Is peer pressure a good or bad thing? Was there any “good” peer pressure?

  • As people talked in the film, it was clear there are many layers to each individual. Describe, if you can, what the characters must be going through. The Jews. The Nazis. The Non-Jews. At the end of the film, you see the Schindler Jews paying respect to the grave of Oskar Schindler. What must they be feeling? For those Jews who survived, how are they able to lead, even today?

  • During the time in the Ghetto, there is a man who says to others around a fire, “the ghetto is liberty.” What do you think he means by that? Is it somewhat of a sanctuary or a hell? What does it say about a society that feels free to keep people that are alike, in some way, together and away from everyone else? On campus, what does it mean when a student organization segregates itself from other students? How does it make you feel? Is it different when the group does it, versus the people or power that’s in control does it? How?

  • Who are the leaders in this film? Describe the leadership of the Nazis. Do you think they had leadership? Is all leadership good? Can it be bad? Why or why not. Do you know people who use leadership differently to gain things that may be questionable?

Anti-Semitism

  • As the Jews were leaving the cities and going to the Ghetto, there was a child screaming, “Good bye Jews! Good bye Jews!” Why was this boy screaming that? Can you describe the overall appearance and disposition of the Jews as they were going to the ghetto? Did they seem proud, confused, angry, happy? Why?

  • The film is shot in black and white. There was only one time that there was color. It was the little girl as she was leaving for the Ghetto who was wearing a pink coat. Why do you think the filmmaker did that? Was there a reason for the black and white photography? What do you think it was? Why? Also toward the end of the movie you see the same girl in a pile ready for cremation. What impact did this have on you as the viewer?

  • During Schindler’s birthday party, there was a scene when he kissed two Jewish women. It was clear that it was something that wasn’t expected to happen. What do you think caused Schindler to do that? Was he trying to make a statement or was this part of his nature? Why do you think so? Are there acts that you see on campus that reflect different agendas? How do you know this?

  • Try and think of this world event and give your opinion as to why it happened. What were people thinking? How could they come the conclusion that this race of people was inferior to everyone else? Do you see it happening, even today? What makes you think so? There are also people who have the opinion that The Holocaust never happened. Why do you think they believe that?

  • How has The Holocaust affected us as a culture? Looking from a historical perspective, what has changed in the world since the liberation of concentration camps? Has it changed the way we deal with prejudice? How? This movie looks at the 1000+ Jews who were saved, but doesn’t take a direct look at the millions who died. As people struggle with learning about this, what kind of commitment should there be to continue to educate others about this world event? How is this discussed on campus? Is it still important to research and learn about? Why or why not?

Residence Life Cinema 201 South Jefferson Avenue • St. Louis, Missouri 63103-2579

Phone: (800) 244-6173 Fax: (314) 289-1776 E-mail: mail@reslife.com

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© Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.

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