A great movie in which the Nazi leaders are ordinary citizens

A great movie in which the Nazi leaders are ordinary citizens

What new movies should you watch? We list new releases and pick the movie of the week. This time: massive Area of ​​interest Where the Nazi leaders are ordinary citizens. Director Jonathan Glazer's horrific film The Holocaust shows the everyday life of evil.

Rosie van der Kamp

Two women walking in a beautiful park. One of these is Hedwig Höss, who has recently moved to a villa in Poland for her husband Rudolf's (Christian Friedel) work. Her mother is visiting for the first time. Hedwig (wonderfully played by Sandra Holler, and with her Hit Parole I talked about her role earlier) just showed her all the rooms. She now takes her to her garden, which she carefully takes care of every day.

She proudly points out the tall sunflowers and large hydrangeas. Therefore it is a beautiful garden. They walk along the cobblestone paths until they reach the pieces of art: a paddling pool that includes a slide where neighborhood children often play, a large greenhouse with the most beautiful plants, and a vegetable garden filled with vegetable beds and fruit trees.

Bees buzzing over colorful flowers. The sun casts shadows on the freshly cut grass. A thick chimney emits columns of black smoke. Because the park is located in Auschwitz. Although there is a wall separating the garden from the adjacent concentration camp, the suffering of the prisoners next door constantly seeps into the family home.

The screaming could be heard mainly in the garden, but Hedwig and her mother paid no attention to it. It's like they can't hear it. Not only do they ignore what's going on behind the wall, they act as if the wall doesn't exist at all.

In the heart of the Holocaust

Jonathan Glazer Area of ​​interest (Under the skin) is full of moments of casual cruelty like this. Glazer's first film in ten years is set in the heart of the Holocaust, but it's also about everyday concerns. He does not depict the horrors of Nazi rule, but focuses his still camera on the daily lives of those who allowed it to happen. The mother takes care of the garden, and the children go to school. The father, who runs the concentration camp, leaves for work.

In this way, Glazer shows that the Holocaust has no heart at all: it is a machine, a process. There is talk of efficiency, and of solving logistical problems. No one mentions the Jews, and no one mentions the dead. But all of these things exist, as Glazer constantly reminds us. At one point, the ashes float in the river where the father and his children like to swim. Hedwig's new fur coat contains used lipstick.

Area of ​​interest It is an immoral place. No one wonders what is good or evil. Everyone follows orders. Glazer shows that this immoral place is a beautiful place. An eye-catching one. That's a problem – and that's the point. Glazer combines his stark, cold shots of the beautiful house and garden with a disturbing electronic soundtrack, further disturbing the viewer.


But Glazer doesn't point his finger at anyone who bears responsibility. Or when he points his finger, he's not just pointing to the past.

What a horror of him Area of ​​interest What makes it so powerful is that it engages the viewer in their analysis of evil. Because what makes us different from Hedwig? Of course, the vast majority of viewers do not live next to concentration camps, but we also turn a blind eye to all kinds of suffering every day. Perhaps this is the case: there is simply too much misery in the world that we should not be aware of.

This piece begins with a garden scene, where Hedwig's obsession with her garden surprisingly feels like the most cruel element in the film. Of course Rudolph is the worst in the family. Glazer portrays him as an angry man who, in perhaps the film's most powerful moment, seems to resign himself to the future realization of his misdeeds.

But Rudolph is clearly a villain, and not someone we easily identify with. Unlike his wife Hedwig. It is precisely the character of Hedwig, who acts as if nothing is wrong, who goes on with her life and finds beauty in that life, that hits hard.

Glazer offers an alternative with a night camera. These photos, along with photos of the Hoss family, show a neighbor girl sneaking out at night to hide food in a labor camp. The images are dark and less striking than the depiction of Hoss' family life.

It's easy to think you'll act like this girl. That you might risk your life to make someone else's life a little better. Area of ​​interest It makes you think: Do you act in your daily life like the girl next door or like Hedwig?

Also from this week:

He orders: In a claustrophobic way, debut director Juan Sebastian Torrales shows the Catholic guilt of a fourteen-year-old in Almola.
Northern comfort:Put a group of people in a high-pressure social environment and see what happens. It produces satire that doesn't cut it.
Social break: Swedish documentary filmmaker Fredrik Gjerten presents a comprehensive (and sometimes rather diffuse) picture of how the social contract is breaking down, and how people around the world are fighting back.
Large: It starts out as a refreshing dissection of spy cliches, but with each plot twist, the story starts to resemble that cliche from the beginning more and more.
Scotto: A crime comedy from the makers De tata in De Tata 2 It's corny at best, annoying at worst.

Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Area of ​​interest It was created in close cooperation with the Polish State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. Director Piotr Cywiński praises the way director Jonathan Glazer worked. When I asked him what kind of film he wanted to make, he said: I don't know. That's why I'm here.' It was the beginning of a long and distinguished collaboration. Jonathan did a lot of research and we discussed it for hours. We have collaborated on many productions in the past, but I have never seen a film about Auschwitz as comprehensively researched as this one.

At the end of Area of ​​interest Pictures of the museum can be seen today. “Jonathan really wanted that. I wasn't convinced it was a good idea, but when I watched the film I had to admit that it shows that it wasn't that long ago. It wasn't that long ago. And that it still says something about humanity today. It's about us. When you think about history, you You quickly think of Caligula, of events 2,000 years ago. But this is not 2,000 years ago. This is about us. This is something we must continue to care about—memory must be passed down.
Jan Peter Ecker

Area of ​​interest

direction Jonathan Glazer
he met Christian Friedel, Sandra Höller, Ralph Herfurth, Max Beck
can be seen in Cinecenter, City, Eye, Filmhallen, Kriterion, Lab111, The Movies, Rialto De Pijp, Rialto VU, Studio/K, Tuschinski

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