Flick Pick: Son of Saul

Son of Saul

There have been few films in recent years that impact you like László Nemes’s first feature, Son of Saul.

The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year, where it won the Grand Prix, and has now been nominated for best foreign film at this year’s Golden Globes. Géza Röhrig stars as Saul, a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II who works as a member of the Sonderkommando.

Son of SaulSaul’s job forces him to attend to the camp’s gas chambers and then burn the bodies of the victims in the crematorium. It is there that he uncovers the body of a boy he believes to be his son. He becomes determined to give this child a proper burial and sets out to find a rabbi for help.

Son Of SaulSon of Saul depicts the Holocaust from the perspective of someone living through it. For much of the film, we are looking either at Saul’s face or at the back of his head. We don’t necessarily see all the horrors taking place around the character. Instead, we hear them. This, along with Röhrig’s chilling performance, makes for a harrowing (but worthwhile) experience that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Son of SaulSon of Saul opens this Friday in New York and Los Angeles. Make sure to watch the trailer below.

Photos: Ildi Hermann, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics