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The Zone of Interest

Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden beside the camp. 

Year: 2023 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 
Certificate: BBFC 12 Cert – Not suitable for under 12s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Jonathan Glazer 
Starring: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Johann Karthaus  
An image from The Zone of Interest

The Zone of the Interest was one of 2024’s Oscar Nominations for Best Picture, and it’s not hard to see why. A historical film, set during the Holocaust, this film reports on the lifestyle and actions of Rudolf Höss, one of the commandants of a concentration camp in Auschwitz, his wife Hedwig, and the rest of their family.

This is a macabre film, a film that portrays the dread excellently. Along with that dread, it shows us a chilling and candid depiction of the heartlessness of Rudolf Höss (Friedel) and his colleagues. We also see the personality of his wife, Hedwig (Hüller), who remains within her own world, ignoring the inhumanity of the tragedies that occur in the concentration camp behind her house, while the maids (all prisoners of the concentration camp) live in constant fear of their future, as they work in a house of a man who actively plans their genocide.

This film is an important watch. It is a cold and honest depiction of the horrors of the past, with no bandaging or sugar-coating. The acting is phenomenal, but I feel compelled to especially praise Sandra Hüller, for her performance as Hedwig – a thoroughly honest and nuanced portrayal. With compelling cinematography and subtle audio design, The Zone of Interest conveys a lot of important messages that we need to hear and understand.

Naomi Pandey

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Screenings of this film:

2023/2024 Summer Term (digital)
2023/2024 Summer Term (digital)