SON OF SAUL (2015)


A film by László Nemes

Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn

Son of Saul is not you typical war film and it is film differently as well. It is a horrible look at life and death in Auschwitz-Birkenau near the tail end of World War II. The camera shows us every corner of mindless evil lurking in the death camp. it is brutal, unbelievable, visceral, discussing and you will smell the dead body though the screen. I never seen it film like that ever. The film is shot in one frame except a few time where it was not. It is difficult to do it that way the camera man has to follow the actor as they have to know their line and what happens around them has to be synchronize just right.

It follows Saul (Géza Röhrig)  who herds victims into the gas chamber and cleans up the room afterwards, collecting the bodies into piles and scrubbing the floor clean of bodily fluids. You see Saul is a jew who is force to do that in order to survive and he does it like he has gotten used to it almost mechanically. One day when the gas chamber is being cleared, he spots the body of a boy he believes is his missing son. He wants him to have a proper burial so he goes though out the camp in search of a rabbi.

son of saul

Saul’s search takes him into every corner of the camp: not only the gas chambers, also in the crematoria, at the warehouse and by the river where they dump ashes into it, in the offices, and the fire pit. He puts himself in danger more than a few time he won’t let it go plus his friends are preparing something. Nemes follows him with a hand-held camera focusing only on his face. The film is shot in the Academy aspect ratio, 1.37, so there is not much room in the frame other than Saul’s head you will be to see the horror around him but it will be blurry. You will see the atrocities in a blurry manner , hear them even. It is more brutal that way a lot more horrifying. It depicts the routine of death which was never shown in film before. The workers in the camp the filthy  condition that there are in, the quarters of the worker even the lack of food to eat. All that is taking in consideration. It is 2 days in a life of Saul. Do not miss this one.



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