Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation

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9780062285188: Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation

An informative coffee table book for film buffs and those interested in Jewish history.--Kirkus

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Few films have resonated through the years as Schindler's List has. Released in December 1993, it not only won seven Oscars - including Best Film and Best Director, and is now ranked numbered 8 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Best American Films of All Time - it inspired Steven Spielberg to create one of the world's most important visual history resources. This book commemorates that legacy, presenting in one volume both stories: the making of the movie, and the birth and enduring work of the foundation. Exclusively for this milestone anniversary, Spielberg and Universal Pictures opened their archives, providing access to production stills, interviews, call sheets, and other artifacts that bring the filmmaking story to life for the first time. In Part One of this authorized book Spielberg explains why he waited to make the film ten years after the Thomas Keneally novel was first published in the U.S. along with details of pre-production planning, the difficult location shoot in Poland, and the experiences of the cast and crew. Featured throughout Testimony are excerpts from Steven Zaillian's Oscar-winning screenplay and the dramatic black-and-white photographs of David James - which echo the film's acclaimed cinematography. Here too are accounts of startling events on the set, when actual Holocaust survivors would show up unannounced and ask to speak only to Spielberg. These encounters were what inspired him to establish a way to video-record and preserve testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses while they were still alive. Part Two of the book focuses on the story of the Shoah Foundation, and its urgent mission to collect and preserve the Holocaust testimonies, so that these eyewitnesses could become teachers of humanity for generations to come. Here's how they raced against time and were able, during the first five years, to gather more than 50,000 testimonies in 56 countries and 32 languages; how they developed pioneering interviewing methodology, state-of-the art technologies for indexing, cataloging, and preservation, and groundbreaking means and educational programs to share the testimonies with the world - especially with young people. In 2006, the Foundation became part of the University of Southern California, and has broadened their mission to collect and preserve testimonies from other genocides, including those in Armenia, Cambodia and the Rwandan Tutsi genocide.

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