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Pilcrow News

In Re: Holocaust collides in 2 lives, as the camera rolls

by Mary McNamara, LA Times, 6/29/6, Calendar Weekend

      Recently I finished the book Oskar Schindler by David Crowe. Ever since I've been craving one of those History Channel documentaries on the holocaust. I would watch Spielberg's Schindler's List again but since I've boycotted anything affiliated with Spielberg films (including Dreamworks productions), I'd rather watch Judgment at Nuremberg again. David Crowe's bio on Schindler dismantals much of the flow of the horific events shown in the film Schindler's List. It goes with the territory to edit books when it is adopted for the screen. So, how would David Crowe's version fair with the events that saved thousands of Jews?
      There may be another more interesting question. Since the popularity of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel was adopted into film, it's obvious to me that the lawsuit involving Baigent, Leigh versus Dan Brown on plagiarism is somewhat of a reversal of conditions where a Schindler's List remake is concerned. Spielberg is berated for having used studio research material composited by Jon Blair for his 1983 Schindler: the documentary for which Oskar Schindler & Emily Schindler signed over their rights to their lives. Thomas Keneally's novel was based on altering the contract binding Oskar; but upon his death, Emily had certain rights too, making the Keneally novel fiction because zero recompensation binding the studios' use of the plot was forwarded. It makes me wonder whether it's ethical to read bios now on people who've passed, since the trial involving The Da Vinci Code proved lacking evidence of plagiarism. In other words, is it ethical to finance another "holocaust" novel based on David Crowe's biography of Schindler, remake Schindler's List using the material from the new publication, and donate royalties to the Jewish Aid Center? Oskar and Emily never started a family so their offspring can't collect royalties for the story of their part in the holocaust.
      I would've gone to see the documentary Inheritance at the L.A. Film Festival—I'm planning to watch it when it's given air time on network/cable TV—but as far as morals and ethics go, only the darkest, tragic ending will make me appreciate any remake of war heroes involved in a opportunistic industry such as entertainment.
Tags: books, films
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