The devastating, ambitious, and beautiful Hungarian film Son of Saul trickled down through the film festival circuit ahead of its U.S. release on December 18th. Now, with the arrival of its trailer, moviegoers can get a taste of the hard-to-watch film that seems like a shoe-in for Oscar consideration.
Directed by László Nemes, Son of Saul takes place at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp during the ‘40s. If the setting wasn’t enough to set this emotionally harsh climate, the main character, Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), is a Sonderkommando forced to work in the crematoriums that burn the bodies of the slaughtered Jews. The trailer, which debuted on Apple Movie Trailers and is set to the music of Henry Purcell’s “Hat Power Art Thou” aria from King Arthur, doesn’t delve into the gruesome nature, but still emotes the hopelessness of the subject matter. Watch the footage below.
Nemes wrote the script with Clara Royer, and the film also features actors Levente Molnár and Urs Rechn.
Son of Saul was submitted for Oscar consideration in the Foreign Language Film category as Hungary’s pick. While it’s one of 81 films, early critical reception places the odds in its favor, though we’ll find out what the Academy thinks when the nominations are announced on Thursday, January 14th.
Here’s the official synopsis:
October 1944, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.