7.5/10
39,080
130 user 332 critic

Son of Saul (2015)

Saul fia (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2015 (Hungary)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

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A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.

Director:

László Nemes (as Nemes László)

Writers:

László Nemes (as Nemes László), Clara Royer
Won 1 Oscar. Another 60 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Géza Röhrig ... Saul Ausländer
Levente Molnár ... Abraham Warszawski
Urs Rechn ... Oberkapo Biederman
Todd Charmont Todd Charmont ... Bearded Prisoner
Jerzy Walczak Jerzy Walczak ... Rabbi Frankel
Gergö Farkas Gergö Farkas ... Saul's Son
Balázs Farkas Balázs Farkas ... Saul's Son
Sándor Zsótér ... Dr. Miklos Nyiszli
Marcin Czarnik ... Feigenbaum
Levente Orbán Levente Orbán ... Russian Prisoner
Kamil Dobrowolski Kamil Dobrowolski ... Mietek
Uwe Lauer ... Oberscharführer Voss
Christian Harting ... Oberscharführer Busch
Attila Fritz 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 | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary

Release Date:

11 June 2015 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Saúl See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

HUF 280,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,930, 20 December 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,777,043

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,659,121
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's many historical sources included the personal accounts of Schlomo Venezia and Filip Müller, the records of Miklos Nyiszli, a Romanian-Jewish doctor who was forced to work in the crematoria, and Claude Lanzmann's Shoah (1985). See more »

Goofs

The short text at the beginning says, that the members of the 'Sonderkommando' were killed after 3 months, but this is a simplification of the more complicated history. While it's correct that these men were supposed to be killed and replaced after a few months, in some cases they were killed much earlier and in other rare cases they could survive for over 2 years, like Filip Müller. This depended mostly on the skills of the individual 'Sonderkommando' slave worker, who was sometimes needed by the SS to train the new 'Sonderkommando' members, but also on pure coincidence and luck. See more »

Quotes

Saul Ausländer: I have to take care of my son. He's not from my wife.
Abraham Warszawski: When did you last see him?
[pause]
Abraham Warszawski: You have no son.
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Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Faces
Written by William Marshall Hutchison
Performed by Elizabeth Spencer
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User Reviews

 
A bit disappointing to be honest
30 April 2016 | by markgormanSee all my reviews

This movie is not taken on lightly as an audience member.

To classify it as 'entertainment' would certainly be wrong because the subject matter is so uncompromisingly challenging.

I wanted to love it unreservedly for the bravery of its content but I'm afraid I was left a little cold.

The film is shot in square format (possibly 4:3) which is immediately disarming and unusual (the last time I saw this was in the very different Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel) and it's used effectively because it gives the viewer a voyeuristic look into the mayhem that is Dachau where the movie is set. It also helps the director from a budgetary point of view because it eschews the need for expensive wide shots.

The opening scenes are astonishingly harrowing as we see the "pieces" of Jewish bodies essentially processed through the factory of death with disturbing, off screen, dog barks, German soldier orders and mechanical noise. It's brutal and affecting in the extreme.

In some ways this is what I grotesquely wanted from the movie. I wanted to be horrified like no horror movie could achieve.

Forgive me for this but it didn't happen. Yes, the mood was grotesque thanks, in particular, to the extraordinary sound design, but on screen I felt it shirked its potential too much.

In the end this voyeuristic cinematography ultimately becomes both tiresome and limiting.

The fundamental weakness of the movie, in my opinion, is in the storyline. Frankly it's not that credible and doesn't stack up. The main protagonist (Saul) discovers his (illegitimate?) son as a gas chamber survivor and smuggles him out of the situation to seek a Rabbi to give him a proper Jewish burial.

This leads to a sequence of events that side stories with an undercover camp breakout in which he is also inexplicably involved.

Sorry, it's not credible.

And Géza Röhrig as the lead didn't really do it for me. And so the early wonderment of the movie, it really is very moving, starts to erode and gradually descends into incredibility.

I love what this movie stands for. I respect every iota of it.

I just didn't think it was particularly good overall.


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