Steven Spielberg has said the final scene in Schindler’s List, where holocaust survivors visit the grave of Oskar Schindler, was a late addition to the pic and was his way of making sure audiences knew the film’s story was based on real-life facts.
“Holocaust denial was on the rise again — that was the entire reason I made the movie in 1993,” he told The Sunday Times during a recent interview. “That ending was a way to verify that everything in the movie was true.”
Spielberg continued to say that before Schindler’s List, he had never made a film that “so directly confronted a message” that he believed the world needed to hear.
“It had a vital message that is more important today than it even was in 1993 because antisemitism is so much worse today than it was when I made the film,” he added.
In addition to the film’s powerful political message, Schindler’s List was also one of Spielberg’s most critically acclaimed films. The pic went on to win seven Oscars, including Best Picture and his first as Best Director. The film is also one of the top-grossing black-and-white films at the domestic box office with $96M, part of its $321.3M worldwide take.
Schindler’s List tells the story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. The movie was released on December 15, 1993, and played limited before breaking 1,000 theaters in the middle of March 1994.
Co-starring Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes, the film also earned Oscars for composer John Williams, screenwriter Steven Zaillian, and director of photography Janusz Kaminiski, as well as art directors Allan Starski and Ewa Braun, editor Michael Kahn and producers Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig.
Spielberg is currently on the awards and promotional trail for his latest pic, The Fabelmans. The film is up for seven Oscars, including Spielberg’s first Best Screenplay nomination.
Co-written with Tony Kushner, the Universal-Amblin movie is loosely based on Spielberg’s childhood and follows Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), a young man growing up in post-World War II era Arizona who discovers a shattering family secret and explores how the power of films can help him see the truth.