The black-and-white aesthetic seemed like a gimmick from a distance, but my inference in that choice was beyond capturing the look of World War II. The cinematography, general pacing, and acting are all of contemporary taste, so the colour scheme acts more as an indispensable coat of despair than as a reminder of the time period. Trust me, the subject of the Holocaust is enough of a reminder. No one will deny the horror that surrounds the Holocaust, not even the mad deniers. From my perspective, only hearing about it through history books, I have trouble in grasping just how atrocious the situation was. The need to bargain that things are better than they could be, the fear of one single slip risking your entire life (or worse, as Helen Hirsch (Embeth Davidtz), your life is taken away on a random whim), the lone wolf attitude such an environment dares to push onto you, despite such strong cultural identity in the entire community. Comprehending even this much is difficult, and director Steven Spielberg is aware of this. That is why he tells this primarily from the perspective of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a high-profiting factory owner whose membership to the Nazi Party does not interfere with a good relationship and trade with the Jewish community. For his ghost businessperson, he even hires a Jew, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley, who magically maintains arresting my attention, despite never breaking out of a timid, humble nature). There is far too much in the movie to touch on in what should be a capsule review, so I will say this: Schindler's List is not only the definitive Holocaust movie. It may well be the definitive Hollywood historical drama. Three hours and sixteen minutes, with not one minute wasted. That is not a miracle. That is craftsmanship, particularly in knowing when to change the lens.(i.e., character of focus) in a scene.