Spielberg: 'Collective Hate' Worse Today Than When 'Schindler's List' Debuted

"[W]hen collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows."

Stephen Spielberg attends the 2018 Arthur Miller Foundation Honors at City Winery on October 22, 2018 in New York City.
Mike Coppola / Staff / Getty Images

Speaking with NBC in an extended interview published Wednesday, Steven Spielberg spoke about the re-release of his award-winning Holocaust drama, "Schindler's List," and how times have changed for the worse since.

"I think there is more at stake today than even back then," Spielberg told Lester Holt. "Individual hate is a terrible thing, but when collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows. We have to take it more seriously today than I think we have had to take it in a generation."

"Schindler's List" won seven Academy Awards in 1993, including Best Picture and Best Director. It tells the story of Oskar Schindler (brilliantly played by Liam Neeson), a German businessman who employed Jewish labor in his factory as a cover to save them. By the end of WWII, 1,200 Jews were saved thanks to Schindler's efforts. The film will be re-released in theaters across the U.S. and Canada for a limited run on December 7.

"I couldn't imagine based on the story that we told that an audience would tolerate just the amount of violence, human against human. Or inhuman against human," Spielberg told NBC. "I think everybody felt that we were memorializing something. I've only had this experience twice, one was shooting 'Schindler's List,' and the second time, it was very reverential, was shooting 'Lincoln.' The two times that I think the entire company came together to pay their respects."

"I don't think I'll ever do anything as important," Spielberg said. "So this, for me, is something that I will always be proudest of."

"I think this is maybe the most important time to re-release this film," he added. "Possibly now is even a more important time to re-release Schindler’s List than … when it was initially released."

Spielberg, who supported both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in their bids to become president, will be working with the former First Lady on a television show about the women's suffrage movement.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the progressive duo will be adapting Elaine Weiss' critically acclaimed book "The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote," the rights of which were optioned by Spielberg's company Amblin Television.

Hillary Clinton will be stepping up as an executive producer and will play a pivotal role in selecting key talent.

"The book, published in March, follows the activists who led the decades-long fight to grant women the right to vote and sheds light on how close the battle to ratify the 19th Amendment really was," reports THR. "The book celebrates those who changed history and laid the foundation for the civil rights movement that came decades later."

It remains unclear at this point if the show will highlight that more Republicans voted for the 19th Amendment than Democrats.

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