The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest
Date: 04/06/2024 Times: 7:30 pm - 9:15 pm

The Zone of Interest is loosely based on a novel of the same name by Martin Amis, who died just before it was released. Directed and written by Jonathan Glazer (probably best known for Sexy Beast), it has made history by being the first UK film to win an Oscar for Best International Feature Film. It also won BAFTAs for Outstanding British Film and Best Foreign Language Film and an Oscar for its quite astonishing sound design, which is essential to the telling of the story. Sight and Sound (magazine of the British Film Institute) made it the 2nd best film of 2023. It is the second film we are showing this season featuring Sandra Hüller, a German actor who has suddenly emerged as a force to be reckoned with.

It is Jonathan Glazer’s take on the family life of the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, and his wife Hedwig, who are living their dream life right next door and within sight and sound of the camp in which there is so much horror. They live in complete denial in an enclosed world. Family life continues, scene follows scene in unbearable affectless detachment, with the children being attended to, the servants instructed, the Nazi wives gossiped with (they chat about a nice dress salvaged from some ‘little Jewess’) and Hedwig’s mother is welcomed into the house for a stay and shown around with a great deal of pride. There can be no doubt of Glazer’s focus on an evil which creates its own banality, the banality which allowed the mass murderers to go about their business. It is all the more chilling and powerful because the horror is only indirectly alluded to.

The Zone of Interest

Year: 2023

Country: UK

Cert: 12A

Duration: 105 mins

Dir: Jonathan Glazer

'A masterful work which conveys horrible events by leaving them to the imagination.'

Venue: William Loveless Hall