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‘The Zone of Interest’ Movie Review

Mar 30, 2024 | Admit One

In Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, a cinematic masterpiece unfolds, weaving a haunting tapestry of sight and sound that lingers in the depths of the soul. Glazer’s departure from conventional Holocaust narratives is as daring as it is profound, challenging viewers to confront the uncomfortable interplay between life and annihilation with an unflinching gaze that leaves an indelible mark.

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Release Date: December 22, 2023
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Studio: A24
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
IMDb: 6.1/10
Where to watch: In theaters

Set against the harrowing backdrop of Auschwitz, Glazer crafts a narrative that defies traditional storytelling conventions

Through the lens of Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), the commandant of the concentration camp, and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), the film delves into the chilling banality of evil that permeates their seemingly idyllic existence. Their meticulously maintained walls serve as a facade, masking the horrors lurking just beyond their tranquil facade.

Glazer’s audacious decision to focus on the Höss family’s domestic life underscores the chilling normalization of genocide

Johnnie Burn’s immersive sound design and Mica Levi’s haunting score punctuate every scene with palpable dread, immersing viewers in an atmosphere of profound unease. Friedel and Hüller deliver mesmerizing performances, navigating their characters’ moral ambiguity with a precision that blurs the lines between humanity and depravity.

As the film unfolds, Glazer masterfully explores the theme of sanitization, revealing how the manipulation of history shapes our perception of truth. Through juxtaposition and symbolism, he forces viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about complicity and culpability, challenging them to grapple with the complexities of human nature in the face of unspeakable horror.

In this narrative, the deliberate absence of explicit representation of “The Jew” becomes a poignant metaphor for the countless anonymous victims whose voices have been silenced by history

Glazer’s strategic choice redirects attention toward collective suffering, sparking a dialogue about the ethical dimensions of Holocaust representation in art. By denying viewers a conventional focal point for empathy, the film elicits a discomforting sense of detachment that underscores the systemic dehumanization and moral erosion that characterized the Holocaust.

In essence, The Zone of Interest transcends cinematic norms, offering a profound meditation on the enduring impact of historical events on human consciousness. Glazer’s exploration of deliberate absence fosters a contemplative engagement with the Holocaust that resonates long after the final frame fades to black, inviting viewers to confront the darkest corners of the human soul with courage and compassion.


About our Admit One Author

Anika Chapman

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anika Chapman is an artist and writer from the small town of Basalt, Colorado. She is currently immersed in her academic journey at  Savannah College of Art and Design, situated in the city of Savannah, Georgia. As she navigates the diverse realms of creativity, Anika is diligently working towards completing her educational pursuits, with an anticipated graduation in the upcoming spring of 2023. Her chosen field of study is Art History and Museum Studies, where she delves into the rich tapestry of artistic evolution and the nuanced curation of cultural heritage.