‘The Zone Of Interest’ Director Jonathan Glazer Decries “Dehumanization” Of October 7 Attack & War In Gaza In Speech After Oscar Win

‘The Zone Of Interest’ Director Jonathan Glazer Decries “Dehumanization” Of October 7 Attack & War In Gaza In Speech After Oscar Win

Jonathan Glazer’s landmark Holocaust film The Zone of Interest, as widely expected, has just scooped the International Feature Oscar. The British film is the 20th that the UK has submitted to the category, and the first to win the race.

Inspired loosely by Martin Amis’ 2014 novel of the same name and set outside the walls of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, the German-language Zone of Interest stars Christian Friedel and Sandra Hüller (also a Best Actress nominee tonight for Anatomy of a Fall) as Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig, as they strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden separated from the Nazi concentration and extermination camp by a only a short wall. What is happening on the other side is rarely hinted at.

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Glazer said upon accepting the International prize, “All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present, not to say look what they did then, rather look what we do now.… Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst, it’s shaped all of our past and present.”

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He continued to applause, “Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

From A24, The Zone of Interest premiered at Cannes last May, winning the Grand Prix, and the FIPRESCI Prize. It also took the award for Film not in the English language as well as Sound and British Film of the Year at the BAFTAs. It has grossed over $24M globally.

In his review, Deadline’s Pete Hammond wrote: “Holocaust movies are virtually a genre of their own, but I can safely say I have never seen one, sans any visuals of violence and suffering, that still manages to be just as harrowing and frightening, maybe even more. The Zone of Interest takes its place among the great films made on the Holocaust and will probably haunt you long after seeing it.”

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Zone of Interest came into the evening with five nominations in total, also including for Director and Picture.

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Other films competing in the International Feature category were Matteo Garrone’s Io Capitano (Italy), Wim Wenders’ Perfect Days (Japan), J.A. Bayona’s Society of the Snow (Spain) and Ilker Catak’s The Teacher’s Lounge (Germany).

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