Irish Film Institute -SON OF SAUL



107 minutes, Hungary, 2015, Digital, Subtitled

This film was released 29th April 2016, and is no longer screening.

★★★★★ The Irish Times

★★★★★ The Guardian

★★★★★ Irish Independent

Set in Auschwitz in 1944 and depicting a day in the life of a Jewish-Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando – a unit of prisoners charged with disposing of bodies amassed in the gas chambers – first-time director László Nemes’ exacting Son of Saul is a scrupulous drama that is both laudable and intensely harrowing.

Against a hazy backdrop of intrepid revolt and unspeakable violence, Nemes uses the claustrophobic space provided by Academy ratio to focus on Géza Röhrig’s agonised Saul, a man who in a heap of corpses finds a young boy who, we infer, he believes is his son. From there, we shadow Saul as he endeavours to effect a plan to honour the tragedy of this single death, regardless of the danger it presents.

Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes and the Best Foreign Language Oscar, Son of Saul foregrounds a singular expression of compassion in a nightmarish reality. (Notes by Alice Butler.)


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