Testimony: The Legacy of Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation
Steven Spielberg & Shoah Foundation
Newmarket, 2014 (2014)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
s part of the 20th anniversary of
directed by Steven Spielberg, this book commemorates not only the making of the film but the creation of the Shoah Foundation, the organization that Spielberg founded after he made the movie.
estimony: The Legacy of Schindler's List and the USC Shoah Foundation
draws from Universal Pictures' archives and exclusive interviews as well as the foundation's extensive archives.
he first section of this retrospective contains production stills, interviews and other artifacts that bring the making of the film to life and explain why Spielberg waited a decade to begin production. In addition to the details of pre-production planning, the book examines the challenges that had to be overcome in the location work, and explores Spielberg's interaction with Holocaust survivors. It was this dialogue that resulted in the director's decision to preserve their testimonies by establishing the USC Shoah Visual History Foundation. Spielberg called this '
the most important work of my life
he foundation has an extensive archive of more than 50,000 video-recorded testimonies from Holocaust survivors, as well as survivors of other genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, Cambodian Genocide, Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and the 1937 Nanjing Massacre. A sampling of over twenty of these survivor testimonies appear in the book.
he second part of
details Spielberg's mission to preserve the Holocaust testimonies and share this material with the world. The team the director assembled recorded thousands of testimonies in 58 countries and 34 languages.
rom this important work came the development of a pioneering interviewing methodology, state-of-the-art technologies for indexing, cataloging and preserving the collected material and a groundbreaking means to share the testimonies with the world.
avishly illustrated, this large format, extraordinary book is dedicated to '
the survivors, the witnesses, and all who gave testimony so future generations might know a world free of prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry – and the suffering they cause
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