Can one build a normal family life right next door to unspeakable horror and human suffering? That chilling question lies at the heart of the critically acclaimed new drama Zone of Interest.
The film centers on Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife as they strive to create an oasis of longing and desire, even as the engines of death and atrocity churn just outside their door. It’s a provocative exploration of the nature of human cruelty.
Directed and written by Jonathan Glazer and brought to life by an outstanding cast featuring Christian Friedel, Sandra Huller, Ralph Hertforth, Johann Karthaus, and Luis Noah, the historical drama examines the psychological gymnastics of human sufferings and pain.
Zone of Interest (2023) Movie Review
In his first film since 2013’s Under the Skin, arthouse auteur Jonathan Glazer returns with another unsettling tone poem exploring profound moral questions.
Zone of Interest examines the inner lives and psychological contortions required for otherwise average people to facilitate monumental evil.
Glazer achieves this not through graphic violence or visceral horror, but through a slowly boiling emotional intensity and intricate character study.
The film centers on Rudolf Höss (Christopher Abbott), the real-life commandant of Auschwitz, along with his wife Hedwig (Sarah Gadon).
Despite living mere steps away from the death camp’s machinery, the couple strives to carve out an island of domestic longings, desires, and simple family pleasures.
The contradictions between home life and work life couldn’t be more severe, pushing the bounds of cognitive dissonance to the extreme.
Glazer and his outstanding cast beautifully highlight tiny moments to suggest the compartmentalization and ethical tricks both Rudolf and Hedwig play on themselves to reconcile the irreconcilable.
We see the hints of doubt, self-disgust, and buried conscience behind Rudolf’s blank exterior as he dutifully oversees mass murder.
Meanwhile Hedwig’s communion with nature, music and art start to ring hollow against the screams constantly echoing outside.
The film stimulates debate about whether true ethical living is possible adjacent to radical evil. How much are bystanders culpable?
Can passion and pleasure co-exist alongside a void of empathy? Zone of Interest will leave you pondering such questions long after the chilling finale.
Bolstered by spooky, moody cinematography and sound design, Glazer has crafted another critics’ darling without traditional plot or resolution.
The historical drama film doesn’t aim to provide lessons or conclusions about its thorny themes. Instead it succeeds at evoking sustained unease in viewers as we recognize the humanity in the film’s moral monsters.
Also Read: Where to A24’s Funny Pages movie online?
Is Zone of Interest streaming anywhere?
While Zone of Interest officially premiered in theaters on December 15, 2023, a streaming release date has not yet been announced.
A24, the film’s distributor, often follows a pattern of a six to seven-week window between theatrical release and digital accessibility.
Given its recent December theatrical debut and status as a major awards (international feature in UK) season contender, Zone of Interest will likely have an exclusive theatrical window of at least 45 days in order to qualify for various awards.
Therefore, the earliest we may see Zone of Interest available on demand or streaming platforms would be in late January or February 2024.
Most streaming services announce their film acquisition deals weeks or months in advance. So be sure to check back for updates on when and where you’ll be able to stream Zone of Interest from the comfort of your home following its theatrical run this awards season.
To stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding Zone of Interest’s streaming release, keep an eye on A24’s official channels and film review websites like Us.
We’ll be sure to update this section as soon as the official announcement is made.
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