THE ZONE OF INTEREST
Starring: Sandra Hüller, Christian Friedel, Medusa Knopf, Daniel Holzberg, Sascha Maaz, Max Beck, Wolfgang Lampl, Johann Karthaus, and Ralph Herforth
Director: Jonathan Glazer
The Zone of Interest is a haunting portrait of the Holocaust that will stay with any audience member willing to take the journey. Writer/director Jonathan Glazer presents an analysis of evil, and how some of the most atrocious human beings can look so normal. While the film revels in the mundane to an uncomfortable degree, Glazer is not afraid to get experimental on us, presenting the audience a challenging way to view humanity in all its ugliness. I left this movie feeling disturbed and angry, yet awestruck at the brave approach to this subject matter.
While The Zone of Interest is well-crafted, I can’t help but feel cold and disengaged from it. Mica Levi’s haunting and chilling score does create a unique atmosphere, but it’s writer/director Jonathan Glazer’s direction that didn’t have me emotionally invested in whatever story this film is trying to tell. The movie lacks narrative momentum because it feels like two films are happening at once: one you see and one you hear. If those two stories were combined together more gracefully, this slow burn Nazi drama could’ve had more weight to it.
This film was reviewed by Adriano and Paige as part of Bitesize Breakdown's coverage of the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2023 New York Film Festival, respectively.