Holocaust film ‘Son of Saul’ wins Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

The Hungarian Holocaust film "Son of Saul" won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday. Credit: Screenshot from the "Son of Saul" trailer.

(JNS.org) The Hungarian Holocaust film "Son of Saul" won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday, about a month after winning the Golden Globe in the same category.

The movie tells the story of Saul Auslander, a prisoner at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp who was a member of the Sonderkommando, a unit of Jews who were forced to clear out corpses from gas chambers and move them to the crematoria.

Saul finds a body of a young boy whom he believes to be his dead son, and tries to save the corpse from burning in order to give his son a proper Jewish funeral, while the members of the Sonderkommando plan a rebellion. The actor who portrays Saul is a Hungarian Jew, Geza Rohrig, who also founded an underground punk band when Hungary was under Communist rule. He currently lives in New York, where he has studied at a Hassidic yeshiva. The film was funded in part by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

“Son of Saul” beat out Colombia's “Embrace of the Serpent,” France's “Mustang,” Jordan's “Theeb,” and “Denmark's A War” in the foreign language category. The film also won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2015.

Posted on February 29, 2016 .