“The area of ​​interest”, the bucolic family life of the Auschwitz camp commander

It's a terrible film about the banality of evil. “The Zone of Interest” Jonathan Glazer, Grand Prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival, is released on Wednesday January 31 in theaters in France. Filmed in the Auschwitz camp, the director achieves the feat of talking about the Holocaust without showing it, by filming the family life of Rudolf Höss, the commander of the Auschwitz camp where more than a million human beings will be exterminated. The film was nominated five times for the Oscars.

Scene from the film “The Area of ​​Interest”, directed by Jonathan Glazer. © Leonine

By: Isabelle Chenu Follow


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The area of ​​interest

was the code name given to the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Nazis. A machine of death where a million men, women and children will be gassed, tortured and executed and which the spectator will never see on the screen. A continuous soundtrack broadcasts the sounds of daily life in the camp: screams, dog barking, gunshots, orders, the blast of the crematorium ovens. Above, British director Jonathan Glazer shows the bucolic family life of camp commander Rudolf Höss, his children, his servants, and a wife, Hedwig, played by the immense German actress Sandra Hüller who is nominated for an Oscar for this role .

Their immaculate house adjoins the camp and there is talk of growing rose bushes to hide the wall which disfigures the family's garden, vegetable patch and swimming pool. Jonathan Glazer directs a powerful film of great originality, using multiple cameras to create a situation of permanent surveillance, sometimes using black and white to give substance to the resistance of a little girl putting the viewer in a position of discomfort faced with this bourgeois life, which shows evil at work, perpetrated by people almost like any other.

Also read Major report: Living in the shadow of Auschwitz

Read alsoAuschwitz, camp symbol of the Nazi abomination


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