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The Grey Zone (2001)

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

Director:

Writers:

(based in part on "Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account") (as Dr. Miklos Nyiszli), (play) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
Moll
David Chandler ...
Max Rosenthal
...
Cohen
George Zlatarev ...
Lowy (as Georgy Zlatarev)
Dimitar Ivanov ...
Old Man
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...
...
...
Henry Stram ...
Kamelia Grigorova ...
...
Anja (as Lisa Benavides)
...
Inmate
...
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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:

A szürke zóna  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,526, 20 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$517,872, 22 December 2002
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature film about the "Sonderkommando" at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The acclaimed Hungarian-language feature film Saul fia (2015) became the second one. While both films dealt with the same historical events, including the revolt on October 7, 1944, they are told from different perspectives, in different styles, and highlight different themes. The Hungarian film also characterized the "Sonderkommando" less ambiguous. Both films are based in part on doctor Miklos Nyiszli's "Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account", but Son of Saul (2015) used additional historical accounts, especially "The Scrolls of Auschwitz", a.k.a. "Voices from beneath the Ashes" (edited by Ber Mark), a collection of secretly written and hidden testimonies by members of the "Sonderkommando". See more »

Goofs

The movie suggests that two crematoria were destroyed during the rebellion. In reality only crematorium 4 was destroyed. See more »

Quotes

SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt: I never fully despised the Jews until I experienced how easily they could be persuaded to do the work here. To do it so well. And to their own people! They'll be dead by week's end, every soul. And we'll replace them with others no different. Do you know how easy that will be?
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Grey Zone Title Music
Written by Jeff Danna
Performed by Jeff Danna
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Very Good Film
25 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

I was a little wary of this film because of the cast - but David Arquette was surprisingly good. I happen to like films that have a theatrical uality - so that was fine with me. At first I wondered why Harvey spoke with an accent, and no one else did - then midway through the film I got that the idea was that the Jews HEARD his German accent - and since the story was from THEIR perspective, they had no accents from their point of view. To convey this to an American audience, they spoke like Americans. I despise Shindler's List . That film turned a horror into a feel good event. Disgusting. THIS movie doesn't manipulate you with sappy speeches and ridiculous violin crescendos, nor does it get sweet and sentimental like Saving Private Ryan. This movie is about horror - and it ends horribly. It doesn't cheapen the death, it forces you to feel all of the terrible weight.


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