Home Entertainment ‘It Was So Important to Make This Film Here,’ Says Jonathan Glazer...

‘It Was So Important to Make This Film Here,’ Says Jonathan Glazer at Auschwitz Screening of ‘The Zone of Interest’


Jonathan Glazer returned to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, where he shot elements of his Holocaust drama ‘The Zone of Interest,’ on Feb. 15 for the Polish premiere of his acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film.

Speaking after the screening alongside museum director Piotr Cywiński, producer Jim Wilson, producer Ewa Puszczyńska and production designer Chris Oddy, the director explained to the audience what it meant to have been allowed inside the museum — on the site of the concentration camp where more than 1.1 million people were murdered during WWII — to shoot scenes for the feature.

“It was so important to make this film here,” he said. “I felt very palpably the place when I first arrived and I felt that the film had to be about this place, and also had to blur the line between then and now, here and there, a film that would feel present tense, not something which we could have a safety from because it was an event that happened so many years ago.”

Glazer added: “But rather we were trying to show it as something still in our world and still in ourselves as human beings and not an anomaly or some event that happened once and couldn’t possibly happen again. It felt very important to tell a story about our human capacity for violence.”

“The Zone of Interest,” which bowed in competition in Cannes where it won the Grand Prix, follows Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), the architect and commandant of Auschwitz, juxtaposing his seemingly blissful family life alongside his wife Hedwig Höss (Sandra Hüller) against the backdrop of one of history’s darkest chapters.

“I would like to thank the entire team, for the sensitivity, for the readiness to listen and to understand, and to find some solutions that are good and authentic,” said museum director Cywiński during the conversation. “Because I think that the authenticity of this film was at the highest possible level The trust we built together resulted in a quality that in my opinion is, in productions about Auschwitz, far, far unreached by many filmmakers in the past.”

Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum Piotr Cywiński, Co-Producer Bartek Rainski, Writer/Director Jonathan Glazer, Production Designer Chris Oddy, Producer Jim Wilson, Paweł Sawicki