What kind of person does it take to live next to the most infamous Nazi death camp and just go about your day like it’s nothing? It would take an extreme lack of empathy, compassion, and a superhuman ability to separate yourself from the outside world. Jonathan Glazer explores an entire family who can do this in his chilling new film, The Zone of Interest.
Starring Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller, The Zone of Interest centers on a family in Auschwitz as they attempt to raise a family and live the pure life demanded by Hitler, while living just feet away from the infamous Nazi concentration camp.
The film is a loose adaptation of Martin Amis’ 2014 novel, directed and written by Glazer. Glazer is good for about one movie every decade or so, which is why they always make a splash and command attention. His most recent was 2013’s Under the Skin which starred Scarlett Johansson as a man-eating alien. But that film was about how the alien learned to love humanity, while The Zone of Interest is about people who have lost all of theirs.
Here’s the synopsis: The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp.
Earning accolades after its world premiere at Cannes, the film is expected to be a major player this awards season. That said, I wasn’t really into it when I saw it at Middleburg a couple of months ago, finding it repetitive, dull, and poorly structured.
A24 will open The Zone of Interest into theaters on December 15th.