March 7, 2013

"The celebrated 'red coat girl' from Schindler's List, Polish actor Oliwia Dabrowska, has revealed she was left traumatised..."

"... after breaking a promise to director Steven Spielberg not to watch the film until she was 18."
"It was too horrible. I could not understand much, but I was sure that I didn't want to watch ever again in my life." She also said she "really regretted" not paying attention to the director's suggestion that she "grow up into the film", and not watch it until she was older.

"I was ashamed of being in the movie and really angry with my mother and father when they told anyone about my part," she said. But, having revisited the film as an 18-year-old, she said she realised "I had been part of something I could be proud of."
She was 3 when she made the film and 11 when she watched it for the first time. 

33 comments:

MayBee said...

Actress has to be dramatic.

Brew Master said...

That movie affected me when I first saw it in my 20's when I already knew the horrors of the holocaust. I can't imagine being 11 and being exposed for the first time. I doubt I would have fully understood either.

It's good to know that at 18 she has a better understanding.

Peter said...

I, me, me, me.

It's all about me.

Isn't it?

Kelly said...

I thought that particular scene was out of place. My snl said his teacher wanted his class to watch the movie when he was in the fifth grade, but parents raised a stink about it.

Libertarian Advocate said...

@ Peter:

What's your point?

Erika said...

I have no issue with teaching kids about the uglier sides of history, but images are an entirely different ball of wax than words. Spielberg was right.

Tibore said...

Well... I admit, at 11 I would've been tempted to do the same thing had I been in the same circumstance. And at that age, I don't think I would've fully understood it either (although in all honesty, my 11 year old self probably would have turned it into wishful superhero-saves-us-all fantasy fodder instead...).

But that's the way it goes. She regretted it then, but she's come to grips with it now. Perspective changes with age; it's something we all know intellectually, but still seem to be surprised at every time we see an example of it.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I'd have advised her to make a burnt offering to Spielberg after the first viewing.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The Nazi's scale, mass resources and efforts put into a system to despise and murder innocent people is stunning to any thinking 11 year old.

This world is not safe.

And how is the North Korean's scale, mass resources and efforts into exterminating us going this morning?

The North Koreans and the Iranians are jointly working at to despising and killing innocent Jews and innocent Americans as we speak.

Obama and Kerry have unexpectedly discovered that this is normal...after all they feel the same way about Jews and Americans and want them to understand that they are their friend in high places.

bagoh20 said...

There is nothing preventing it from happening again, and it's only gotten easier. Same hatreds, same justifications for weakness in the face of evil, same stupid humans in power, same stupid people putting them there.

The second amendment is the only protection that ever really made any people any safer in the world. It should be part of internationally recognized human rights.

Darrell said...

If kids can compose songs to Dear Leader and sing them, then they can see where that can lead in every gory detail.

Shanna said...

Better to watch a movie of it (or be in a movie of it) than live it.

My little cousin was doing a report on the holocaust at 11 or so and she was interviewing a survivor. Her mom asked him to try leave out some of the most traumatizing stuff because of her age. The guy told her about soldiers throwing babies in the air and shooting them and she was like, um I thought you were going to leave out the worst stuff. He said 'I did'.

sonicfrog said...

Shanna... Great story. I wish you were making it up because it's horrifying, but am sure you're not.

Would you mind if I shared your quote?

PS. I was in my early 30's when I saw Schindler's List. I cried like a baby when I recognized the significance of the red dress in the later scene of the movie. You had kind of forgotten about her, but then realized the hope she represented was dead. That was brilliant movie making.

edutcher said...

A little different for us Baby Boomers because we grew up with our fathers', uncles', and friends' parents' war stories, as well as a plenitude of documentaries.

But this girl would have heard all manner of ghastly stories, being Polish

Shanna said...

Would you mind if I shared your quote?

Not at all. Yes, true story. If allowed, people can be awful. We should never, ever forget that.


Shanna said...

As for the movie, the red coat never really did anything for me. The part that gets me every time is the scene with Schindler throwing all his little trinkets aside and freaking out about how he could have/should have done more.

JAL said...

Who showed it to her when she was 11?

I didn't give my kids the option to watch it til they were older and had an emotional and historical framework to put it into. Of course by that time they were teenagers and thought they knew everything anyway.

Geoff Matthews said...

Brew Master,

When I was in 6th grade, they had an in-depth lesson about the holocaust. Alberta had a teacher (James Keegstra) who had been teaching his students that the holocaust was a hoax. When that came to light, the province decided to get serious about teaching the holocaust. It wasn't that traumatic, but then they didn't show up movies about it either.

This actually reminded me about the boy who was in The Shining, and how Kubric never exposed him to the horror aspect of the movie. He never watched it as a kid, which was probably a good thing.

JAL said...

The latest news on the huge scope of the ghettos and work camps in Europe beside the death camps should not be ignored.

The network of camps and ghettos set up by the Nazis to conduct the Holocaust and persecute millions of victims across Europe was far larger and systematic than previously believed, according to new academic research.

Researchers conducting the bleak work of chronicling all the forced labour sites, ghettos and detention facilities run by Hitler’s regime alongside such centres of industrialised murder as Auschwitz have now catalogued more than 42,500 institutions used for persecution and death.


There probably were many little girls in red coats.

One wonders how Europeans manage. Some of our best friends there are a British couple and a German couple who regularly visit each other. (We have heard some stories.) Bet they have a no talk rule.

I shall ask.

edutcher said...

JAL said...

Who showed it to her when she was 11?

I didn't give my kids the option to watch it til they were older and had an emotional and historical framework to put it into. Of course by that time they were teenagers and thought they knew everything anyway.


Interesting reaction.

At 11 (late 50s), I remember seeing non-fiction books around the house concerning the war and some of the photos regarding the Einsatzgruppen were pretty graphic.

There were also some pretty ghastly accounts in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post at the time, which was also free to peruse at home, so I'm having a little trouble understanding all this sheltering.

Maybe it's just because I'm a guy.

Shanna said...

I remember reading tons of stuff about Christian martyrs as an elementary student. I think we had a book in class. Those were pretty gruesome.

But a movie is more viceral. I read all this stuff in elementary school but watching 'the last emperor' at 10 gave me nightmares.

Brew Master said...

As a child my first exposure was in a book compilation of Life magazine photo's called 'Life Goes To War'.

Even with that exposure the true scope of what was done was not all that apparent to me as a child. It was horrible, yes, but a youthful mind does not have the experience necessary to understand evil at that scale.

Geoff Matthews: I was fortunate in that I did not have any teachers of the denial sort. It was taught matter of factly, but not in depth.
My own pursuit of history as an adult has informed me beyond what any teacher possibly could have done given the limited time frames they have available.

ricpic said...

No one is traumatised watching a movie. The traumatised three year olds and eleven year olds were the ones shot or thrown in ovens. Actually they weren't traumatised. They were murdered. Traumatised would be an eleven year old survivor of the camps. A perfectly safe person who never forgets how safe she is while watching a movie about other persons being systematically murdered and then tells you she was traumatised -- that's obscene.

ndspinelli said...

When I taught high school history I showed this movie. However, to only jr and sr. students.

Lydia said...

ricpic said...
A perfectly safe person who never forgets how safe she is while watching a movie about other persons being systematically murdered and then tells you she was traumatised -- that's obscene.

Yes.

And why was she "ashamed of being in the movie"? Who made her feel shame?

Jeff Teal said...

Read Mila 18 and Exodus at age 13.Sent me on a quest and longtime fascination with German and Germans.It is also what made me conservative.Somebody has to stand up to anyone whoeven looks like they could industrialize killing people.And worse.

bearing said...

I'm surprised at how cavalier many people in this thread are being about the notion that young children can be upset and haunted by exposure to images of terrible violence and cruelty.

Film has a power that words don't. I'd never show this film to an eleven-year-old. There's plenty of time for them to grapple with the horrors of human history in a visual way when they're older.

SOJO said...

Worse than Schindler's List for me in the "Great movie. Never want to see it again." department was "Dead Man Walking" with Sean Penn. Even the thought of seeing it again makes me queasy - and I was a fully grown adult.

William said...

I saw Schindler's List as an adult. Some of those images are very disturbing and stick with you forever. It was a very powerful film, and I hope to never see it again.

rcocean said...

Schindler's list is the greatest movie, ever ever. I think all non-Jews need to see it at least every annually to understand the damage antisemitism has done.

We can never be reminded too often about the Jewish Holocaust.

rcocean said...

And I think it was very brave of Spielberg to make such a movie. I don't think the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Abe Foxman give him enough credit for standing up to the Mel Gibson's in Hollywood.

"Schindler's list" is really the rebuttal to the "Passion of the Christ".

Gary Rosen said...

Hmmmm, looks like C-fudd's been sock-puppeting again. Well, that's what happens when he can't get it on for the flophouse JO.