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The Grey Zone (2001)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 7,482 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
Edit

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:

A szürke zóna  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Harvey Keitel plays SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt, Keitel himself is of Jewish-Polish heritage. 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

Hoffman: [outside the gas chamber] You're all fine! The quicker you get undressed, the quicker you'll be clean, settled and reunited with your families.
Morris, Man with Watch: Filthy liar.
Hoffman: Remember the number of the hook you hang your clothes on!
Morris, Man with Watch: He's a liar! I can't believe it's Jews doing this!
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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Incredible film
2 November 2002 | by (Manhattan, NYC, USA) – See all my reviews

I've seen this film twice. The first time it was such a shocking,

horrifying spectacle I vowed to never see it again. It is absolutely

among the most graphic, violent films ever made, save slasher/horror films. I saw it again to see what was buried

underneath the gore. It was surprising. As a historical document

alone The Grey Zone is unique and impressive. Countless small

details contribute to its originality: the blue-green color of the

Zyklon B crystals, the sprinklers constantly working the lawn

beside the crematoria, the clear, pretty daylight when the trains

arrive, the intimate building-to-building geography of Birkenau --

only the film Shoah manages to make these small historical

details count so much. What's left to be said about the Holocaust?

These things. Small things. Details. The grass, the sound ovens

make, sunlight hitting brick. Shoes. Luggage.

The Grey Zone is so unique that it has been misinterpreted. There

is virtually no music, nothing to tell you how to feel. It is exactly the

opposite of melodrama. The mundane repetition of the killings

actually numbs you after awhile, and this is intentional since this is

how the main characters are affected. There is no uplifting

message, and no cliched Zionist coda like Schindler's List

suggesting that all the suffering had a destination and a design.

There are some awkward elements in the film. But these are

minor next to the clarity of purpose and originality. The Grey Zone

should not become marginalized in the canon of Holocaust art

because it refuses to be sentimental. Hopefully it will be

referenced and reviewed for a long time.


34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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