Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary Edition 4K Ultra HD review
Schindler’s List is Steven Spielberg’s most celebrated work – and for a reason. The American filmmaker of Jewish Ukrainian descent told this story of horror and courage that took place during the Nazi regime in Poland, which led to the rescue of 1,200 Jews thanks to German entrepreneur Oskar Schindler.
On top of being a historically meaningful piece of cinema, Schindler’s List is a true masterpiece, with a mesmerising use of black-and-white cinematography and career-defining performances. The film stars Liam Neeson as the tenacious industrialist; Ralph Fiennes as deranged SS officer Amon Göth; and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s accountant-cum-manager Itzhak Stern. It ended up winning seven Academy Awards including best picture and best director.
For a film shot without colours, some might think that the benefits of watching it in UHD – as opposed to a 1080p Blu-ray – wouldn’t be that perceptible. However, it’s actually in the shades of black and white that the higher dynamic range (HDR) comes out in all its glory; the contrast is phenomenal, making Schindler’s List one of the best transfers ever made. From the crowded scenes’ definition to the poignant close-ups of Kingsley and Neeson, there’s a perfect balance between sharpness and cinematic texture.
John Williams’s soundtrack matches the visual quality of this UHD title; the sounds are defined and the dialogues crisp and clear, with no excessive imbalances between moments of silence and gunshots.
The bonus features
The extra contents feature a good selection of interesting material, starting from the 25th-anniversary panel at Tribeca Film Festival’s retrospective screening with Steven Spielberg, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Caroline Goodall. There’s also a documentary with further testimonies about Oskar Schindler’s rescuing activity during the Holocaust and a feature on the story of Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary Edition is available in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD from 25th February 2019.