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Son of Saul (2015)

Saul fia (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2015 (Hungary)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer
A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.

Director:

László Nemes (as Nemes László)

Writers:

László Nemes (as Nemes László), Clara Royer
Won 1 Oscar. Another 60 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Géza Röhrig ... Saul Ausländer
Levente Molnár ... Abraham Warszawski
Urs Rechn ... Oberkapo Biederman
Todd Charmont Todd Charmont ... Bearded Prisoner
Jerzy Walczak Jerzy Walczak ... Rabbi Frankel
Gergö Farkas Gergö Farkas ... Saul's Son
Balázs Farkas Balázs Farkas ... Saul's Son
Sándor Zsótér ... Dr. Miklos Nyiszli
Marcin Czarnik ... Feigenbaum
Levente Orbán Levente Orbán ... Russian Prisoner
Kamil Dobrowolski Kamil Dobrowolski ... Mietek
Uwe Lauer ... Oberscharführer Voss
Christian Harting ... Oberscharführer Busch
Attila Fritz Attila Fritz ... Yankl (Young Prisoner)
Mihály Kormos ... Schlojme
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Storyline

Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. Written by LaoKoon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary

Release Date:

11 June 2015 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Saúl See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

EUR1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,930, 20 December 2015

Gross USA:

$1,777,043

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,659,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Spielberg told director László Nemes that Son of Saul (2015) greatly contributed to the collective memory of the Holocaust and that he hadn't expected that it would take so long after Schindler's List (1993) to make such a film. [Daily Herald, 2016] See more »

Goofs

The short text at the beginning says, that the members of the 'Sonderkommando' were killed after 3 months, but this is a simplification of the more complicated history. While it's correct that these men were supposed to be killed and replaced after a few months, in some cases they were killed much earlier and in other rare cases they could survive for over 2 years, like Filip Müller. This depended mostly on the skills of the individual 'Sonderkommando' slave worker, who was sometimes needed by the SS to train the new 'Sonderkommando' members, but also on pure coincidence and luck. See more »

Quotes

Saul Ausländer: I have to take care of my son. He's not from my wife.
Abraham Warszawski: When did you last see him?
[pause]
Abraham Warszawski: You have no son.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Faces
Written by William Marshall Hutchison
Performed by Elizabeth Spencer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hard-hitting movie experience
11 November 2015 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

This movie starts completely out of focus - literally. The viewer sees only vague shapes moving around. Is this a technical error or an experiment gone wrong? Nothing of the kind. After a while, the face of lead character Saul Auslander moves close to the camera - and into focus.

And it stays this way. In the first few minutes, the camera stays within a range of 50 centimeters from Saul's face. Or I should say: Saul's head - because sometimes we see only the side or the back of his head.

The effect of this style of filming is no less than spectacular. All kinds of things are happening around Saul. Horrible things, we soon learn. But we never get to see them close by. We only see shapes, out of focus, at the extreme fringes of the screen, and we hear the sounds. And we keep seeing his face, in focus. He moves around, works, does things, and all the while all we see is his face.

Soon we understand where he is: in a Nazi concentration camp. Saul belongs to a Sonderkommando, a group of Jews who are temporarily spared from death to do the labour the Germans don't want to do. In the midst of the terrible atrocities, it becomes his mission to bury a boy he believes is his son.

This film is unique in showing the concentration camp for what is is: hell on earth. Naked dead bodies being dragged around, desperate people being shot indiscriminately, complete absence of anything humanity stands for. It is exactly this total loss of dignity that drives Saul in his hopeless quest for a way to organize a proper burial for the dead boy.

Son of Saul is the complete antithesis of that other monumental Holocaust movie: Schindler's List. While Spielberg's film is made according to all the rules of good film making, Son of Saul is a claustrophobic trip, without any possible concession to commercial appeal. The dialogue is often hardly comprehensible, spoken in three languages, sometimes not louder than a whisper. Not all the acts and events are quite clear, and only after a while you understand what exactly drives Saul.

This is a unique, hard-hitting movie experience. When you go see it, don't expect a well-rounded story with heroes and villains and a nice ending. But expect to be swept away.


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