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A regular reader, Jason, asks:
“What's the best movie you've ever seen that you only need to see once?
Jason, that’s a fantastic and intriguing question, and I’m afraid I know my answer right off the bat: Schindler’s List (1993).
This Steven Spielberg film is beautifully-shot, strongly-acted, and it serves as in important reminder of how one individual can make a difference in the face of entrenched power and, indeed, in the face of evil. The film is enormously affecting.
Furthermore, I believe that every student in American high schools, public or private, should see the film during that four year span. It's a great film.
But Schindler’s List devastates me.
I find it horribly and soul-crushingly depressing that one group of people treated another group of people so inhumanly…simply because of different ideologies. I know that we must remember our history, lest it repeat itself. I agree with that maxim wholeheartedly, and I so I feel strongly that people should see the film.
On a purely personal basis, I never, ever want to watch the film again. It just tears me up. I like to think I’m an imaginative and empathetic person, and Schindler’s List haunts me at a deep, psychic level.
Great film, but I don’t need to see it again, at least unless I plan to write a review of it for the blog or for a book I’m writing.
In terms of genre films, I also feel that Irreversible (2002) is a great and important film -- the 2001: A Space Odyssey of the rape-and-revenge sub-genre -- and yet, similarly, I don’t feel the need to watch it again, at least not yet. I’m sure one day I will, but not anytime soon.