The Zone of Interest

Drama, History, War Rated: PG-13 105 min
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Nominated for 5 Oscars, including Best Picture,
Best Director and Best Sound

Director Jonathan Glazer’s film about the Holocaust dispassionately examines the ordinary existence of people complicit in horrific crimes, forcing us to take a cold look at the mundanity behind an unforgivable brutality. The Kommandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), and his wife Hedwig (Anatomy of a Fall‘s Sandra Hüller), might have been simple shopkeepers before Hitler and their hatred of the Jewish people gave them the chance to build a dream life for their family in a house just over the wall from the camp. Under Höss at Auschwitz, the Nazis murdered Jews on an industrial scale, with 2.5 million eventually killed at the camp through gassing, starvation, disease, shooting, and burning. The film’s sound, also nominated for an Oscar, delivers these offscreen terrors above the constant drone of the Auschwitz chimneys, underscoring the chilling banality of evil. Based loosely on the Martin Amis novel of the same name, Glazer’s film draws heavily from the memoir Höss wrote after his conviction at Nuremberg while awaiting execution.

“The scenario that Glazer creates and the performances of his lead players serve as a portal, challenging viewers to morph from spectators to participants, grappling with the enduring truth that we’re all capable of knowing evil when we see it.” — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
“As a piece of observational cinema that borrows from the very visual grammar of nonfiction films, The Zone Of Interest is an instant classic, a masterpiece whose every gorgeously framed shot aims to stun you into silence.” — Manuel Betancourt, The A.V. Club
directed by
Jonathan Glazer
written by
Martin Amis, Jonathan Glazer
with
Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Freya Kreutzkam
language
German, Polish, Yiddish (with English subtitles)
country
United States, United Kingdom, Poland