An analytical comparison of the films Schindler’s List and Life is Beautiful reveals the different approaches given to the Holocaust of World War II by their directors. Schindler’s List utilizes realism in the whole story through the use of the real victims of the Holocaust as the characters. Life is beautiful on the other hand, is based on historical facts with the whole story being acted by characters that never experienced the Holocaust.
Furthermore, the atmosphere of the two films is strikingly different. Schindler’s List opens with a focus on the tragedy experienced by the Jews. It begins with the striking of a match and lighting of a candle by a Jewish family who pray around it. After the candle extinguishes, the family disappears signifying their death. The line of the candle smoke transforms to the smoke of a steam train which is used to transport the Jews to the concentration camps. The film changes to black and white depicting a somber mood thus making the film more authentic while the return of color makes one realize that there was life again for the Jews and that the Holocaust happened in the near past. On the contrary, Life is Beautiful commences as a comic defined by humanism and love and the film is produced with color. The scene takes place in an Italian countryside portraying happiness.
The documentary like nature of Schindler’s List together with the aforementioned atmospheric presentation makes it more authentic in comparison with Life is Beautiful film which seems to be a fable.