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A scene from The Zone of Interest (IMDB)

The Zone of Interest is an international historical drama that tells the story of the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp who lives with his wife and children in a house built next to the camp. Source: Australian Catholics.

The film is a co-production of Poland, the US and UK. It is written and directed by London-born theatre-film director Jonathan Glazer and is based loosely on the 2014 novel of the same name by the late Martin Amis. 

The movie’s title refers to the idyllic family residence of Rudolf Höss (Friedel), the SS Commandant of Auschwitz, which has been built next to the concentration camp. It is 1943 and Höss is working on the design of a new crematorium scheduled to open soon.

Beyond the walls of the house, Höss, his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), and their children are constantly exposed to the sounds of furnaces firing, trains, gunshots, sounds of belching smoke, and the distant noises of humans in distress. 

Glazer did not want the horrors of the camp to be seen, but he wanted them heard. Only a thin wall separated Höss and his family from horrific atrocities. 

This is a film that communicates dispassionately how people, like those in the family, can become complicit in horrific crimes. The extreme inhumanity depicted is profoundly disturbing and hard to forget. Films like this one deal with events that can never be disputed, but the question “Why did this happen?” still awaits an answer.

Review by Peter W Sheehan, Jesuit Media 

The Zone of Interest: Starring Christian Friedel, Sandra Huller and Imogen Kogge. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. Rated M (Holocaust themes). 105 min.


The Zone of Interest (Australian Catholics)