The inevitability of Schindler’s List in our leaders’ interviews

Why have Lawrence Gonzi and Joseph Muscat both chosen Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List as their favourite movie?

It may seem like a trivial speck when considering far weightier matters discussed by our prospective future prime ministers, but the fact that both Lawrence Gonzi and Joseph Muscat - who seem to be contractually obliged to be at each others' throats, especially come election time - agreed on a favourite film choice somehow begs for comment.

The fact that both Gonzi and Muscat picked Schindler's List - Steven Spielberg's painful but ultimately redemptive take on a historical episode that sheds a glimmer of light on the Holocaust - can of course be seen as a simple coincidence.

But the film's status as perennial 'middlebrow' work (not quite bold enough to be a true work of art, but just grim enough to not be dismissed as popcorn entertainment) hints that the leaders want to present themselves as conscientious consumers of popular and 'important' films.

Schindler's List is a fan favourite because it allows the audience to experience - vicariously, of course  - the horrors of the Holocaust, but filtered through a narrative that won't leave you wallowing in depression and helplessness afterwards... as any sober account of this dark blot on human history inevitably would.

(It may be worth noting that even the late Stanley Kubrick - legendary director of 2001: Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, Eyes Wide Shut and other classics - gave up on attempting an artistically honest film on the Holocaust after even the research left him crushingly depressed.)

Arguably matching Lawrence Gonzi's favourite music pick - Pink Floyd - 'List' seems like an obvious, entirely impersonal choice.

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