Show some sensitivity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 March, 1998, 12:00am

While Schindler's List is well worth watching, taping and watching again, the promotional ads ATV is running for this film aren't worth seeing even once.

The movie is an excellent and, necessarily, sombre portrayal of the horror of the Holocaust and one man's efforts to save a group of Jews from the Nazi death camps.

It could be expected that the ads to promote this multiple Oscar winner would be similarly serious; in fact, it could be argued that the film is famous enough not to need much advertising at all.

Unfortunately, and annoyingly, ATV has apparently opted for the low road. The voice-over on one promotional slot states that among the worst atrocities of the Holocaust was that the fat of victims' bodies was boiled down to make soap.

This fact is quite enough to get the attention of - and to disgust - any human being.

So why does ATV then continue, 'Oskar Schindler did not wash his hands of this abomination,' showing throughout the voice-over a bar of soap being formed and concentration camp victims showering? Are these supposed to be clever audio and visual puns? The station also advertises a writing contest 'to promote the positive values and noble sentiments' that the movie portrays. The 'reel winner' essay contest offers prizes including a scholarship and book coupons.

What are the students supposed to be writing about? Though the prizes are attractive for students, wouldn't more be learned by offering trips to Israel to visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, or to Poland or Germany to see first-hand the concentration camps? How do book and cash coupons promote 'noble sentiments'? As to ATV's most recent promo, I can't even begin to decipher the meaning of a man twirling around a room holding a scarf, pictures of Schindler and a voice discussing non-conformity.

We still have two weeks before the movie is shown; I shudder to think what the promotions people have yet to put on air. I simply ask ATV to show some sensitivity, to think at least twice before committing any ideas to the small screen. During the Holocaust more than six million Jews died in horrible, unspeakable ways. Schindler's List is an important portrayal of this dark period.

Please don't demean this event or those still affected by it through inappropriate attempts to be clever or by staging meaningless contests.



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