Spielberg uses stark, brutal realism to put over his powerful points about racism and ethnic cleansing, and the use of stunning black-and-white photography and gritty hand-held camera footage give the film a potent documentary style.
The movie exudes an inescapable realism. Unlike a pastiche of newsreel footage, however, Spielberg craftily imbues Steven Zaillian's masterful screenplay with an emotionally charged examination of calculated brutality.
What the visual immediacy of Schindler's List does is to prod each of us to fill in the gaps of emotion for ourselves. To put this another way, the more you are able to invest in this superb, demanding film, the more you are likely to get back.