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  • James Rutherford

'Son of Saul': An Unforgettable Depiction of Concentration Camp Survival During World War II


Movie poster for the Hungarian film Son of Saul starring Géza Röhrig

"Son of Saul" ("Saul Fia") is a powerful and emotionally astounding Hungarian drama from 2015 that depicts the atrocities of work as a Nazi concentration camp Sonderkommando—a Jewish prisoner forced to dispose of the bodies of gas chamber victims.

The film is notably shot up-close in a 4:3 aspect ratio that limits perspective of the nightmarish death camp experience to a claustrophobic frame of vision. This immersive effect puts you on-the-scene and in-the-moment as the titular Saul (Géza Röhrig) searches for a Rabbi amongst the incoming prisoners to assist in the burial of deceased boy that he has saved from incineration and hidden away.

Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, "Son of Saul" is an incredibly tense and riveting experience throughout its entire 107-minute running time. First-time writer/director László Nemes has captured a true hell-on-Earth vision that somehow carries an underlying spirit of hope and yearning for childhood innocence—standing out starkly against the backdrop of such a bleak, brutal environment. Truly unforgettable.

 

View the trailer:

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