Searing and visceral, Son of Saul adopts an unusual long-take, shallow-focus shooting style to great effect as it powerfully offers a new approach to films concerning the horrors of the Holocaust.
In terms of style, it is often reminiscent of Children of Men – the roaming eye-level camera obscures as much as it shows as we follow Saul’s (an effective Géza Röhrig) attempts to give a dead Jewish boy a proper burial. We rarely leave Saul’s side, and this – as well as the shallow depth of field – restricts our narrative entirely to his surroundings. Make no mistake, this is bravura filmmaking.
Technically astounding and emotionally resonant, only the feeling that we never fully understand Saul or his motivations (despite spending the entire film with him) lets Son of Saul down.
CAST: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn
DIRECTOR: László Nemes
WRITERS: László Nemes, Clara Royer
SYNOPSIS: War drama. In Auschwitz, 1944, a prisoner named Saul (Röhrig) is forced to burn the corpses of his own people. He attempts to find moral salvation in burying a victim reminiscent of his son.
Son of Saul was screened in Official Competition at the 2015 London Film Festival.