Steven Spielberg: "Jurassic Park fascinated me. Schindler's List fascinates me..."

Steven Spielberg: “Jurassic Park fascinated me. Schindler’s List fascinates me…”

30 years ago, the ET filmmaker conceived these two very different films in quick succession. Flashback.

Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, perfectly understood, in 1939, that the occupation of Poland could provide him with real opportunities to enrich himself. He therefore took charge of a kitchenware factory, became a supplier to the German army and indeed prospered. While he assiduously frequented the Nazis of Krakow, whose camaraderie was essential to his business, he hired, on the advice of his accountant, Itzhak Stern, Jewish workers. Little by little, through contact with everyone, he becomes aware of the barbarity of the regime he serves and the terrible threat that weighs on its workers. The carefree collaborator will suddenly fall into resistance…

Schindler’s List was released just 30 years ago in the United States, on December 15, 1993. Although we had to wait a little longer before discovering it in France (where it attracted two and a half million spectators from March 1994 ), the drama of Steven Spielberg on the Holocaust had a profound impact on its creator.

Schindler’s List: Steven Spielberg’s definitive coronation

In 1993, he began filming with Liam Neeson, Ben Kinglsey, Caroline Goodall and Ralph Fiennes in Krakow even before having finished post-production on Jurassic Park. He then confided In First, to François Forestier, this choice to chain together two such different film projects, and explained that initially, he would have liked to do the opposite: first shoot his adventure blockbuster on dinosaurs, then his historical story. Excerpts.

(Shoot at Auschwitz), It is indeed very painful. Looking back on these events that took place fifty years ago, it’s very close, a heartbeat, it’s hard. The most incredible thing is that I realized that, even among the people who make up my technical team on Schindler’s Listthere are many who are ignorant of the historical facts of the Holocaust.”

(I remember) these numbers tattooed on my arm… I was three years old, and I was reading these numbers. The people who gathered at my house were survivors: they came to take English lessons, which my grandmother taught. My mother was born in the United States, and my grandparents come from Russia and Austria. I was born after the war. My suffering, when I am confronted with the pain that these people experienced, is nothing. Nothing.”

“My mother is proud, she is so proud… She told me: “Finally! A film I could see.” The last one was ET”

“Being happy is easy for me. My problem is to touch on a subject like this, where my usual happiness would be crumbled. In fact, I wanted to do Schindler’s List first, and Jurassic Park Next. I was forced to reverse the order of production, for practical reasons. It took us two years to prepare Jurassic Parkand waiting another year would have been very expensive.”

“People often take me for a slot machine. But I only shoot projects that interest me. Jurassic Park fascinated me. Schindler’s List my passion. For other reasons, of course. Yet it’s the same Spielberg…”

Trailer for Schindler’s Listto (re)watch on Première Max:

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