dinsdag 26 april 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 55: Son of Saul

Director: László Nemes
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2015
Starring: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont, Jerzy Walczak, Sándor Zsótér, Marcin Czarnik, Amitai Kedar, Attila Fritz, Kamil Dobrowolski, Uwe Lauer, Christian Harting, Juli Jakab, Mendy Cahan, Eszter Csépai, Björn Freiberg, Rozi Székely

Description: In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

Review: For his first film, Hungarian director László Nemes decided to go deeper into a subject that hasn’t been spotlighted in movies that often. Namely the Sondercommandos in concentration camps. These were groups of prisoners that were forced to help in the mass murder during the Holocaust. It took Nemes five years to finish this film.
In “Son of Saul” we see two days in the life of Saul Auslander, a Hungarian jew and prisoner in Auschwitz. He is part of the Sondercommando and works in the crematorium. Although Nazis ruled the place, the gassing and burning of people was left to the Sondercommando. Auslander has to see and do terrible things, truly inhumane. He turns all his emotions off until he sees the dead body of a young boy, who he thinks is his son. Saul does everything it takes to give this boy a Jewish funeral instead of being burned with all the other bodies.
Nemes choose the show everything up close. The camera is always close to Saul’s character, you look over his shoulder constantly. The experience is more intense this way. The power of suggestion and the focus on sound instead of visuals makes this movie even stronger.
“Son of Saul” is an impressive film that literally takes your breath away. Where so many films show us survival during the Holocaust, this film shows us the dead end. But the film still has hope, because Saul finds something worth living for. “Son of Saul’ is hard to watch, but also a unique film experience.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

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