“Son of Saul,” the debut of Hungarian film director Nemes Jeles Laszlo, will hit the Romanian silver screens on March 11, with substantial support from the Balassi Institute – the Hungarian Institute in Bucharest, according to the film’s distributor.
“Son of Saul” will also premiere in Cluj, in the presence of actor Levente Molnar, from the Hungarian Theatre in Cluj, at Cinema Victoria, at 8 p.m. The film obtained memorable success given the fact that it won the Golden Globe for the best foreign film and the Oscar for “the best foreign language film.” Hungarian critics recently labelled Nemes Jeles Laszlo the best film director.
The film had its premiere in Targu Mures on February 25, as part of the Hungarian Film Days. “Son of Saul” won over 40 awards at various international festivals in the world.
The main character of the film is Saul Auslander (Geza Rohrig), a Jewish prisoner from Hungary, forced to work for the Nazis at the gas chambers of a concentration camp. While he was in one of the crematoria, Saul discovers the body of a boy he suspects is his own son and decides to carry out an impossible mission – to save from the flames the lifeless body of the child and to bury him properly. The film presents two days in the life of a man forced to forget his humanity, and his desperate attempt to find salvation by saving the child’s lifeless body.
In Nazi camps, the so-called Sonderkommando, made up of prisoners, led other prisoners to the gas chambers, took their bodies to crematoria and removed the ashes before the arrival of the next shipment. Because of the physical effort involved, the members of this commando benefited from better treatment in contrast to other prisoners, lived separately from them, but were shortly thereafter exterminated because “of the secrets they knew.”
The first task of new Sonderkommando members was to discard their predecessors. Very few members of such a commando survived the war. “We shoot the film in order for viewers to be able to relive a situation that nobody understood until now,” Nemes Jeles Laszlo stated.