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Criticism of Spielberg Brings Out Defenders

January 31, 1994

Some other responses to Robbie Kinberg's Counterpunch, "Spielberg's Still in Never-Never Land":

The film's power was in the personalization of the hideous events, as opposed to yet another statistical recitation of horror. At the showing I attended, the audience (a full house) sat respectfully silent throughout the entire lengthy credit list at the movie's conclusion. . . . The only sound heard was brief (hesitant) applause at the showing of the director's name. --Judy Landau, writer, Northridge

I think a film of this magnitude made in its own context was sorely needed. . . . --Ray Eveleth, insurance benefits specialist, Los Angeles

It's rather silly to attack a filmmaker for not making the movie you would have made--especially when some exhaustive and very harrowing filmic accounts of the Holocaust already exist. If you want a historical account of what happened, try to find a screening of "Night and Fog" or rent Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah." --Michael Baber, writer-director-animator-musician, Studio City

For those of us who are survivors, whether we want our memories revived or not, "Schindler's List" from this point forward will define, cinematically, how most people will come to know the Holocaust. For me, it is not simply a good thing, but a transcendent blessing. --Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor who was saved by his Polish Catholic nanny.

Spielberg has done us Jews a service in that his name might bring those who don't know about the Holocaust to the theater while also rescuing a deserving man from obscurity. --Russell Brown, senior, Harvard-Westlake High School, North Hollywood

As the people and events are real, Steven Spielberg was not free to alter basic facts and characters, not if he were to remain honest about his effort. --Anne Ling, free-lance editor, Los Angeles

This great movie will provide the basis for even more insights into this tragic story. The fact that one movie leaves important things unsaid is not valid criticism. One picture should be judged on how well and truthfully it tells its one story. --Herbert Hafif, attorney, Claremont

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