While one film is clearly superior to the other, the topics that are covered are important in both films and give a historically based account of tragedy and injustice as it is expressed during the event of war. Schindler’s List won eight Oscars and is considered one of the greatest films ever made (Vander-Hook 12). Director Steven Spielberg who had largely been overlooked for years because his films were considered too much as entertainment made a film that was socially relevant and important in informing the public about the events in Poland concerning Oskar Schindler. Oskar Schindler saved Polish-Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories. He started out as a member of the Nazi Party who went into Poland to profit from the war. Considered a Nazi and a profiteer, initially his story was thought to be one of abuse. However, Schindler spent his fortune saving people from the concentration camps, and in the end never making a single shell which was the purpose of his second factory. He used his fortune paying bribes and keeping his workers out of harm’s way. Stop Loss is an independent film that was made by young film makers who were interested in the cause of their film. The practice of stop/loss is one in which the United States government does not allow a soldier to end his service after the time period that it initially was supposed to end in order to keep experienced soldiers out in the theater of battle. In the film, a young soldier goes home and when he goes to his local office to finish the paper work for his release of service finds out that the government is sending his unit back into the war. This has a series of consequences for the various soldiers, including the main character who decides to try to run from this demand on his life. The characters in Schindler’s List are played by well-seasoned actors who give high end performances that are emotional and effective. Liam Neeson portrays Schindler as a man who is transformed from one who intends to use the war as a vehicle to his success to one who sees that his purpose is higher than mere profit. Schindler sacrifices everything he has to make sure that the people he feels responsible for are not taken to concentration camps. Neeson is shown transforming through the way in which he uses his facial expressions and vocal changes in order to express how his evolution changes as he begins to understand the truth of the war. Where the horrors of the war are at first removed from his experience, he finds himself forming personal relationships with his workers and seeing the problems that they are facing. Not only does he see the problems, he responds to them which is what makes him extraordinary. Ryan Phillipe plays a young man who has triumphantly returned home after being a leader of his military unit and being awarded the Purple Heart. The character of Brandon King has a long character arc that begins with a young man who is devoted to his country and the cause of the war to one that must leave everything and everyone he knows in order to avoid the order of the stop/loss. Kellner writes that Peirce explores “hypermasculinity out of control (exploring) how traumatized men socialized into a violent hypermasculinity can be a danger to themselves and others” (230). He and his friend suffer from the aftermath of war, their actions haunting them in realistic subtle and not so sublte ways. Brandon runs from home getting all of the way to Mexico before
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Client’s Name Class Date A Comparison of Schindler’s List and Stop Loss Films that are based upon war themes are often responsible for providing the audience with the emotions of war. Schindler’s (1993) List is about the heroism that happens in war and comes from unexpected places…
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