Los Angeles, CA – “The Zone of Interest” is a film that offers a haunting new portrayal of the Holocaust. Despite being nominated for five Oscars, including best picture, the film takes a unique approach by setting the story just outside the walls of Auschwitz, at a stately villa where a Nazi commandant and his family reside. What makes this film particularly chilling is that it never shows the concentration camp or any on-screen violence. Instead, the audience is subjected to distant screams and gunshots as the blasé Nazi family carries on with their daily lives.
The film’s director and co-writer, Jonathan Glazer, deliberately chose not to sensationalize the atrocities of the Holocaust. Instead, the film relies on the suggestive power of sound to convey the harrowing reality. The sounds of the concentration camp were added entirely in post-production to allow the cast to approach the script as a “family drama” rather than a horror film.
The eerie juxtaposition of mundane family life with the haunting backdrop of the death camp creates a powerful emotional impact on the audience. German actress Sandra Hüller, who plays the commandant’s wife, emphasizes the importance of not humanizing her character, as she wanted to avoid psychologizing any behavior.
The film also highlights the depths of human indifference and the perils of turning a blind eye in exchange for wealth and power. It delves into the complex moral and ethical decisions made by ordinary people during a dark period in history, drawing parallels to the choices individuals face today.
“The Zone of Interest” is a thought-provoking exploration of the darkness that resides within us and the capacity for unspeakable actions, making it a compelling and resonant addition to the conversation surrounding the Holocaust and its impact on humanity.