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The Grey Zone (2001)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,246 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 102 user | 51 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkomando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.

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Title: The Grey Zone (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hoffman
...
Moll
David Chandler ...
Max Rosenthal
...
Cohen
George Zlatarev ...
Lowy (as Georgy Zlatarev)
Dimitar Ivanov ...
Old Man
...
Simon Schlermer
...
Dr. Miklos Nyiszli
...
'Hesch' Abramowics
...
SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt
Henry Stram ...
Kamelia Grigorova ...
Girl
Lisa Benavides ...
Anja
...
Inmate
...
Dina
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Storyline

The true story of Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jew chosen by Josef Mengele to be the head pathologist at Auschwitz. Nyiszli was one of Auschwitz's Sonderkommandos - Special Squads of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating moral dilemma of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. Together, the Sonderkommandos struggled to organize the only armed revolt that would ever take place at Auschwitz. As the rebellion is about to commence, a group from the unit discovers a 14-year-old girl who has miraculously survived a gassing. A catalyst for their desperate attempt at personal redemption, the men become obsessed with saving this one child, even if doing so endangers the uprising which could save thousands. To what terrible lengths are we willing to go to save our own lives, and what in turn would we sacrifice to save the lives of others? Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story You Haven't Seen

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong holocaust violence, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 November 2001 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

The Grey Zone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,526 (USA) (18 October 2002)

Gross:

$507,443 (USA) (13 December 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A 90%/scale reproduction of the Auschwitz/Birkenau death camp was constructed near Sofia, Bulgaria, for the shooting of this film. The actual plans for the original Auschwitz camp were used to build the set. See more »

Goofs

The sonderkommandos mounted the uprising in a hurry. The krematorium IV Kommando rebelled after they knew they were about to be liquidated. They used only blunt weapons and self made grenades and set the krematorium 4 on fire (only one). The rebellion wasn't planned from the start. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Girl: After the revolt half the ovens remain, and we are carried to them together. I catch fire quickly. The first part of me rises in dense smoke that mingles with the smoke of others. Then there are the bones, which settle in ash. And these are swept up to be carried to the river. And last, bits of our dust that simply float there, in air, around the working of the new group. These bits of dust are gray. We settle on their shoes and on their faces and in their lungs. And they become so ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Roses from the South, Opus 388
(1880)
Composed by Johann Strauß (as Johann Strauss)
Orchestrated and arranged by Jeff Danna and Andrew Lockington
Performed and conducted by members of the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Extremely disturbing film, and yet...
10 June 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I had a hard time getting to sleep after watching The Grey Zone. It is the darkest film I have ever seen. It is a stark contrast to Schindler's List in the fact that it is focused on the experience of the great majority of the people who were sent to the death camps and died. Nobody helped them. It is also raw in its presentation of the gas chambers, crematoria and the Sonderkommandos, Jews who volunteered to do the dirty work of processing the people who arrived at the camps and then their dead bodies afterwards in exchange for a few more months of life.

That takes nothing away from the extraordinary Schindler's List, as it is very important to show the deeds of people like Oskar Schindler. His story and the story of many others like him is also true. In my opinion watching both films makes for an effective portrayal of the Holocaust on film, and an exploration of the nature of evil and humanity.

Although the Grey Zone is a bleak story of utter human depravity, the darkness is not total. In an extraordinary turn of events that actually happened in October 1944, the very people who at first abandoned their morality to keep themselves alive threw the Nazis' deal back in their faces and sacrificed themselves, taking a part of the Auschwitz death factory with them. Their actions suggest that even though it flickers, the eternal flame that makes us greater than what we may appear to be is always present within.


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The young girl at the end of the movie...... PhilipChandler
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