The Zone of Interest

Went to see this today and it is a serious piece of cinema. It is compelling from the minute the film starts with outstanding sound design, music and editing.

It is about the Commandant of Auschwitz who was in charge as a million Jews were murdered.

The film watches the quotidian routines of the Höss family, whose house and extensive garden is right outside the camp. It is filmed with hidden cameras and follows the family through their lives, escaping from the constant rumble, screams, dogs barking, gunshots and other noises of the camp which is just beyond the wall. This is where the sound design and other visuals come into their own.

 The acting is understated and there are some small references to the horror just the other side of the barbed wire, or down the river which runs close to their house and garden.

Thomas Harding has written a book about the search to find Höss after the war had ended, and wrote about it here too.

It's an extraordinary, unsettling and powerful piece of cinema, and I urge you to take a look. It is an important addition to the range of films which have attempted to provide a particular angle on the Holocaust.

Trailer and film on the making below: