|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Son of Saul|
|Production country:||Ungarn 2015|
|Running time:||Ca. 107 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
October 1944 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp: the Hungarian Jew Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), as part of the Sonderkommando, must help the Nazis with their cruel extermination campaign against the Jews. Together with other members of the Sonderkommando, he must remove bodies, clean the deadly showers or dig trenches. But then he discovers a boy among the dead, in whom he believes to recognize his son. From now on there is only one goal for Saul: he wants to make a real funeral possible for the boy in the presence of a rabbi. But that seems an impossible task in the concentration camp - and now of all times the members of the Sonderkommando are planning an uprising to enable them to escape from this hell…
"Son of Saul" by director László Nemes has already been awarded at several festivals and has now also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Of course, this has something to do primarily with the subject matter, which is important and must never be forgotten. There's no question that Nemes has staged a powerful work that you as a viewer can't shake off so easily. But apart from that the question arises whether it was really necessary to stage such a challenging, emotionally exhausting story in such a bulky and almost tiringly difficult way.
Of course it's understandable that Nemes wants to mercilessly draw the audience into the action with his very special camera style. He manages that very well, but in the long run it's very exhausting for the viewer. Added to this is the fact that the story in its core is not sufficient to justify the almost two hours of runtime. Rather, one has the feeling that it should primarily serve to show as much as possible of the cruel everyday life in a concentration camp. This is extremely shocking and disturbing, especially in the first minutes, but loses a lot of its power in the long run.
"Son of Saul" will unfortunately only be accessible to a small audience as the film it is. It is too difficult - in terms of both content and craftsmanship - to reach as many viewers as the ambitions behind the project deserve. Those who aren't afraid of heavy cinema costs in general and can place the emotional intensity above the dramaturgical one, will get a long lasting film here. But if you're afraid that this drama might be too much of a challenge, you won't be able to see what the movie's great critiques and various film awards have earned it. And therefore there is only a certain reservation: Worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp