“The Zone of Interest” Trailer Reveals Jonathan Glazer’s Harrowing, Urgent New Film

Jonathan Glazer’s films have a way of sticking to your ribs. Whether he’s taking on a gangster story, like his irresistibly intense Sexy Beast (2000), or delivering a powerhouse sci-fi meditation on what it means to be an outsider in his alien-among-us masterpiece Under the Skin (2013), a Glazer film is an experience unlike any other. This is why his latest film, The Zone of Interest, comes with the promise of something both unforgettable in the best sense and in the most urgent and upsetting. Glazer has adapted Martin Amis’s brilliant, unsettling 2014 novel of the same name, which was set in Auschwitz and followed a Nazi officer who fell in love with the commandant’s wife. The intrigues of a romantic infatuation were set against the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust, and with Amis’s peerless prose, the novel enveloped the pathos of forbidden love within the banality of evil so prevalent in all the members of the Nazi ruling class, who went about their affairs and concerns as if there weren’t human beings being broken and slaughtered in their literal backyards.

This is, of course, extremely difficult material to mine for a novel, let alone adapt for the big screen. Yet Glazer is a fearless filmmaker, and his adaptation, produced by powerhouse studio A24, won the Grand Prix at his year’s Cannes Film Festival. Glazer’s film follows German SS Officer Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), and their children living in splendor in a farmhouse that’s situated next to Auschwitz. The film was shot in Poland and Germany, with Glazer deploying cinematographer Łukasz Żal (Cold War) to depict both the bucolic farmhouse environs perched on the edge of a hell on Earth made by man.

The Zone of Interest is focused squarely on the perpetrators of the violence, showing how people can build and maintain a scrim of normalcy and professed decency while accepting the misery and murder going on all around them. “The great crime and tragedy is that human beings did this to other human beings,” Glazer said during a press conference at Cannes. “It’s very convenient to distance ourselves from them as much as we can because we think we don’t behave that way, but we should be less certain than that.”

It’s horrifying how often we are still being reminded of the truth of this statement.

Check out the trailer below. The Zone of Interest comes to theaters on December 15:

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The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.