Look Out for The Zone of Interest this Winter

Viva Reimers ‘24 / Emertainment Monthly Marketing Events & Merchandise Coordinator

Watch the trailer here: The Zone of Interest | Official Trailer HD | A24

Releasing December 8, The Zone of Interest is the next A24 film to keep an eye on. The film, directed by Jonathan Glazer, is about a Nazi commandant trying to start a life with his family. However, the commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), lives right next to the Auschwitz concentration camp. This film depicts peripheral atrocities and how no matter how hard you try, you cannot ignore what’s happening around you. 

The film premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and is already critically acclaimed and hitting people’s “to-watch” lists. David Ehrlich from IndieWire characterized The Zone of Interest as thought-provokingly “paradoxical.” 

“The approach results in a paradoxical effect: The movie feels guided by a human spirit, but absent of a human touch. The process instills a flattening evenness into a film where the lack of drama becomes deeply sickening unto itself,” Ehrlich writes.

Owen Gleiberman from Variety commended The Zone of Interest for its thorough examination of a grim period in history.

“It’s a remarkable film — chilling and profound, meditative and immersive, a movie that holds human darkness up to the light and examines it as if under a microscope,” says Gleiberman.

According to many of the reviews from the Cannes Film Festival, this film may be on the track to winning many awards. It has already been selected as the British entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

Given that the Holocaust is a sensitive topic, this film will most likely be controversial. Filmmakers argue that responsibly-crafted movies about the Holocaust can serve as important tools for education, remembrance, and raising awareness about the atrocities committed during that period. The key lies in how the subject matter is approached, researched, and presented. 

Without a doubt this film will be a hard watch as it examines the Holocaust from a Nazi’s perspective. Following its initial release, it may have some backlash. People should not glamorize the narrative in a way where Nazi commandants are the victims. We are following the villain in this film and in no way should it depict a sympathetic perspective on Nazis. But it seems that Glazer isn’t trying to glamorize…

Based on the poster for this film, there is a darkness surrounding the family outside. This darkness can symbolize oppressive or suppressive environments, either physically or metaphorically. It might signify constraints that limit one’s freedom or potential. In this case, it may symbolize the constraints of the Holocaust on the oppressed, the societal pressures to believe certain groups of peoples are less than others, and the limitations of freedom for those targeted. The juxtaposition of dark areas with the illuminated family can be a compositional technique that draws attention to the well-lit individuals, making them the focal point and emphasizing their presence or significance. 

The poster hides everyone’s face (everyone is either looking down or their face is fully covered). Metaphorically hiding one’s face is a powerful literary and artistic device that allows for the expression of complex emotions and experiences. For this film, the hiding of everyone’s face could be linked to avoidance. Covering the face can symbolize an attempt to escape from reality or avoid facing difficult circumstances. It reflects a desire to withdraw or distance oneself from challenging situations. This is a valid assumption because the film is about how you can’t just ignore the atrocities literally happening right outside your doorstep. 

Later this year, this movie will capture audiences’ attention and spark conversations, inviting viewers to engage in a thought-provoking cinematic experience.  

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