The Zone of Interest


The Zone of Interest

Release Date: 2023-12-15
Original Language: English
User Score: 7.193/10 (1375 votes)
Popularity: 107.03
Genres: History, Drama
Where to watch: US US / United States:Max, Max Amazon ChannelMax Amazon Channel

Overview: 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.

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A Review by Lachlan Thiele
Written on 2023-05-28

<b>INT. LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - NIGHT</b> Auschwitz is the location of the world's most unforgivable crime — where humanity lost itself. An area forever marked with the horrors of xenophobia and a story that filmmakers continuously attempt to display on the screen. While holocaust cinema isn't being worked into the ground like other genres, there hasn't been a breath of fresh air for a while.  <i>The Zone of Interest</i> is that breath. From the get-go, you're engulfed back into Auschwitz, except in this film, there is a gorgeous house bordering the concentration camp. Immediately this large grey wall hiding the atrocities is juxtaposed with the family's beautiful garden, which their mother wishes to continue improving, never mind the continuous screaming and low rumbling furnace in the area. What <i>Johnathan Glazer</i> does with the sound design of this film is incredible; through audio alone, you're left with a sense of dread; how could you sleep when all you can hear are screams? The film opens with a black screen and an audio scape, immediately setting the tone.  <i>The Zone of Interest</i> layers many elements to create a narrative worth seeing. A narrative we know but in a brand new presentation.  <b>FADE OUT.</b>

A Review by Manuel São Bento
Written on 2023-10-11

FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ "The Zone of Interest is one of the most memorable, remarkable films of the last few years. Jonathan Glazer achieves a fascinating dissociation between the general tone of the movie and the mundane actions of the protagonist family, portraying the unbelievably shocking global apathy in the face of the greatest crime in human history. An extremely complicated viewing, excruciatingly frustrating, full of negative emotions, and not very accessible to the general public. The atmospheric, static cinematography, together with the powerful score and especially the background sounds that will haunt any viewer, justify the use of the term "masterpiece" to technically describe the film. But more important than discussing technicalities and the explored themes, or rating a movie like this, is learning from the mistakes of the past that sadly insist on persevering..." Rating: ?

A Review by CinemaSerf
Written on 2023-11-23

Christian Friedel is quite effective in his portrayal of the Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss here. He and wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) offer us one of the most stark contradictions I think I've ever seen on screen. The beautifully manicured garden of a delightful family home with an unique next door neighbour. That would be the Auschwitz concentration camp of which he was in control. We follow his selection to run the place, his increasing role in implementing the extermination processes and then gradually, as he is promoted again, their realisation that the idyllic life they want for themselves is doomed. It's the brutal comparisons that work best here. We don't really see anything graphic on screen, that's all left to our already well enough developed imagination. The blissful ignorance of their children, the ample supply of food and the prevailing attitudes that nothing at all is amiss compares frighteningly with the real life ghastliness of those just a few feet across a large concrete wall. I suppose it could have more meat on it's bones - maybe just a little too much is left to our own interpretation and it can be a little slow at times, but it still delivers well as a template for just how many people thought the mass killings was hardly more important than whether or not they'd run out of eggs. It's not an history lesson - there are corners cut and licence is certainly taken with some of the timelines, but it's still a poignant look at human behaviour that's well worth a watch.

A Review by Brent Marchant
Written on 2024-01-28

Some movies just have to be seen, even if they make for a difficult watch, and writer-director Jonathan Glazer’s latest is one of those pictures. While this offering is at times a bit uneven, when it’s on, it’s on, leaving a powerfully indelible mark on viewers, one that you feel in your gut and your heart and can’t get out of your mind. The film tells the unnerving story of the family of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel). They reside directly next door to the infamous Nazi concentration camp, somehow managing to live seemingly “normal” lives in the shadow of this horrendously notorious facility. What’s most chilling, however, is that the family seems largely oblivious to the atrocities taking place on their doorstep, focusing more on their social activities and material possessions instead, even with the routine sounds of gunfire and the sight of billowing smoke from mass crematoriums filling the surrounding skies. In portraying this, the filmmaker doesn’t need to resort to graphic, gratuitous imagery to make his point about the unspeakable acts unfolding so close to home; comparatively simpler depictions of these events (and their aftermath) speak volumes instead, creating some of the most implicitly unsettling sights ever captured on film. As a consequence, this approach really makes one wonder how anybody could be so wantonly callous and unfeeling, making for truly troubling viewing. Yet it’s also the kind of imagery that has to be seen for its full impact to sink in. This Oscar nominee for best picture – and the recipient of numerous other competition and film festival accolades throughout awards season – richly deserves the attention it has garnered, even if it’s an inherently disturbing watch (sensitive viewers take note). To be sure, there are some pacing issues that could stand to be rectified, and a few story threads could use better clarity, but the picture’s superb cinematography and fine performances by its excellent ensemble cast (especially Sandra Hüller as the commandant’s self-absorbed wife) are undeniably noteworthy. This might be a film that no one wants to screen – but that everybody nevertheless should.

A Review by Cinema_Snobb
Written on 2024-02-21

Even in the middle of a war, there are two world's that exist side by side. One of ever day life. Raising kids. Working a job. Gardening. Having lunch with friends. Yet...over the wall is horrors. Rudolf Hoss is a commandant at Auschwitz during World War II. His wife Hedwig, played by Sandra Huller, and his children all live in the family homes over the wall from the camp. They live a normal life, and Hedwig prides herself on the beautiful flowers and swimming pool to enjoy. And just over the wall Jews are be incinerated. When Rudolf gets a transfer, Hedwig's life goes into turmoil at the thought of leaving the lovely home she loves. And just over the wall Jews are being incinerated. There's a haunting scene that shows the results of Hedwig's gardening. It shows close-ups of the all the different flowers and plants that have been lovingly been cultivated. They are stunningly beautiful. In the background the sounds of barking dogs and screaming and yelling can be heard. And just over the wall Jews are being incinerated. There is so much about this film that is disturbing. It presents an angle to the war and the concentration camps that I haven't seen before. We often forget about "normal" life going on at the same time. Huller is excellent, just as she was in "Anatomy of a Fall". The film is leisurely and quiet. It doesn't show the horrors of what is going on next door, but it doesn't need to since those horrors permeate every scene. One of the biggest horrors is actually how people can go about living their every day life with exterminations only yards away.

A Review by BornKnight
Written on 2024-02-21

The Zone of Interest is a 2023 historical drama film written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis, that based herself on the life that Rudolf Höss, Nazi commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp from 1940-43 must had in that time in his residence, just at the side of the camp. It premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, winning both the Grand Prix and FIPRESCI Prize. For the 96th Academy Awards, it received 5 nominations (including Best Motion Picture, Best International Feature Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound) - for me best sound is almost a win, and have great chances for best international movie and adapted screenplay. Both Christian Friedel as Rudolf Höss and Sandra Hüller (from Anatomy of a Fall) as Hedwig Höss are exceptional in their roles. It focus on the idyllic live of the Nazi commander, in his house on the most normal life conditions, while the Holocaust and the killing machine he created works at just some meters of distance. The camera focus on medium and large plans, often showing the life of the dreams, but on the horizon we often see signs of the terror like smoke from the locomotives and from the enormous chimneys at the distance. We also have other signs, extremely subtle, like the sound of shouts and shots at the background, that only shows as more close in rare sequences. Other sequences like the girl, shoot in Infrared that left at night apples and fruits for the camp workers are just haunting (and the cause of one of the more aggressive shout sequence I mention above). Interesting enough is the view as close the view of the concentration camp is on the movie in the past, and in the present as a memorial. Both are unmistakable, but in either vision a far cry from what the reality must have been inside them. For the movie is a 8.6 from 10.0 / A- and a must see for 2024.

A Review by MovieGuys
Written on 2024-02-21

The Zone of Interest takes the notion of the "banality of evil", back to its true origin, the family home. All human evil starts with a home. In this instance, the home of a concentration camp commander, Rudolf Höss, of Auschwitz and his family. The laid back ease of middle class family life, of an upper management level Nazi, is juxtaposed with suffering of people (Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, political dissidents, religious minorities and yes even some allied soldiers, who were prisoners of war), who quite literally reside, over the fence, in the concentration camp, Hoss oversees. This is a quietly horrifying film where the an idyllic and wholly familiar family setting is punctured, by the occasional sounds of misery and death, emanating from neighbouring death camp. Smoke stacks, burn human remains, that rise beyond the family fence line. In another compelling scene, a Hoss family riverside outing is disrupted by human ash, floating with the waters current. The Zone of Interest is not a demonstrably violent film. Violence is hinted at and as we can see, is psychologically and physically partitioned off, from the peaceful home life, of Hoss and his family. This is a compelling film but I did feel it overplayed its hand somewhat with discordant music and oddly dissonant night vision scenes, with a girl apparently trying to help the victims of the camps, by leaving food for them, at work sites, concealed next to their tools. In summary, a disturbingly influential film, that looks openly and honestly, at where evil resides.

A Review by FilmRaj
Written on 2024-03-14

A subtle horrific historic narrative of the Holocaust.

A Review by rsanek
Written on 2024-03-28

So much potential but very disappointing.

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