A Holocaust-themed film, Son of Saul, has won a Golden Globe for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’. It is the first Hungarian movie to ever win the award and comes after winning the Grand Prix award at Cannes last year.
Son of Saul is the directorial debut for Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes. In his Golden Globe acceptance speech, Nemes reflected on the need to continually revisit the story of the Holocaust in film.
“The Holocaust has become over the years an abstraction. For me, it is more — a face, a human face. So let’s not forget that face,” he said after receiving the statuette.
Son of Saul is hailed for looking at the Holocaust from a different perspective to Holocaust movies of recent times. “Fiction films have been telling the story of survival,” he said. “The history of the camps was not about survival, the history of the camps were about death.”
“I think the unimaginable should be imaged because then the audiences will have more empathy towards what happened. I think we should find ways of telling this story to our generation.”
The film is set in Auschwitz in 1944, where Hungarian-Jewish prisoner, Saul Ausländer, works as a Sonderkommando member, burning the dead. One day, he finds the body of a boy he takes for his son.
The movie is filmed using clever camera work to focus on Saul, with sounds and scenes around him used to depict the atrocities of the camps. It allows the viewer to use their imagination rather than being shown the horror in graphic detail. Despite it is still described as being ‘shocking’.
Times of Israel movie critic, Jordan Hoffman, last year praised the movie and said it was “perhaps one of the most striking works of art about the Holocaust yet made” and said the movie “shocks the system”.
The film has currently received 35 nominations and won 22 awards, with the Golden Globe being the most prestigious so far. It is being tipped for an Oscar nomination later this year.
The movie was released in cinemas on 18th December 2015 in the USA. The UK release for the movie is set for April 2016.