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Son of Saul (2015)

Saul fia (original title)
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In the horror of 1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 45 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Abraham Warszawski
...
Oberkapo Biederman
...
Bearded Prisoner
Jerzy Walczak ...
Rabbi Frankel
Gergö Farkas ...
Saul's Son
Balázs Farkas ...
Saul's Son
Sándor Zsótér ...
...
Feigenbaum
Levente Orbán ...
Russian Prisoner
Kamil Dobrowolski ...
Mietek
...
Oberscharführer Voss
...
Oberscharführer Busch
Attila Fritz ...
Yankl (Young Prisoner)
Mihály Kormos ...
Schlojme
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Storyline

Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. Written by LaoKoon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

11 June 2015 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Saúl  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

HUF 280,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,930 (USA) (18 December 2015)

Gross:

$1,776,814 (USA) (13 May 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 107-minute film consists of 85 shots, none of which are longer than four minutes. See more »

Goofs

Although the film features the historical Sonderkommando revolt of 7 October 1944 and therefore it should be autumn, the green trees look more like in the summer. The director acknowledged that: "We were supposed to shoot it as an autumn film and we couldn't. So I had to endure the presence of spring elements in the film." See more »

Quotes

Saul Ausländer: Rabbi, Help me bury a body.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 88th Annual Academy Awards (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Harrowing and haunting
16 November 2015 | by (Cincinnati) – See all my reviews

"Son of Saul" (2015 release from Hungary; 107 min.) brings the story of a Jewish Hungarian man named Saul. Saul works/is forced to work as a "sondercommando" in one of the German concentration camps (Auschwitz? Birkenau?). As the movie opens, the camera focuses on Saul as he goes from job to job, leading the next wave of Jewish prisoners towards the gas chambers and closer to their death. Then, miraculously, a young boy survives the gassing. A German doctor quickly smothers the life from the boy, and orders an autopsy. Saul, however, wants to provide a proper burial for the boy and desperately seeks to find a rabbi among the Jewish prisoners who can say the 'kaddish' (burial prayers). To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: in my life time I have seen quite a few movies that focus on or relate to the WWII concentration camps. I can honestly tell you, though, that "Son of Saul" is a unique film. The primary reason is that (i) the movie is shot in almost 1:1 ration, actually probably more like a 4:3 ratio, and (ii) the camera focuses mostly on Saul, and rarely do we get a full-blown shot of what goes on around him. Not that we don't know, and certainly when you add the outstanding audio-soundtrack, we know all too well that this is living hell, and worse. Bodies are laying about, we hear the furnaces, we feel and recoil as chaos and pure evil unfolds. It all make for a very harrowing movie, but one that is unforgettable. It is often said about the holocaust that we should never forget. Let me tell you: "Son of Saul" will make you never forget. Géza Röhrig in the role of Saul brings an epic performance, with little dialogue, but body language that speaks volumes. I am going to go on record right now that "Son of Saul" will win Best Foreign Language Movie Oscar in early 2016.

I saw "Son of Saul" during a recent home visit to Belgium. The early evening screening where I saw this at in Antwerp was attended okay but not great. That is a darn shame, but on the other hand, if you are simply looking for a 'good time at the movies', I don't know that I would recommend this, as it's simply not that kind of movie. On the other hand, if you believe in 'important' movies, and on top of that it happens to be a top-notch quality movie, you cannot go wrong with this, be it at the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Son of Saul" is HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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