Of Saul (2015/Sony Pictures Classic Blu-ray)
A Sound: C+ Extras: B Film: B+
Auslander, a Hungarian prisoner in Auschwitz, one day sees the body
of a dead boy. Thinking it is his son, he searches the camp for a
rabbi to administer his last rites. At the risk of being shot or
even killed, Saul pretends to go about his daily duties as he wanders
through the camp ...even as thousands of other prisoners are being
killed around him in Laszlo Nemes' Son Of Saul (2015).
(Geza Rohrig) is also a Sonderkommando, working against his will for
the German Nazis cleaning up the gas chambers of dead bodies just to
live for another day. As he and the other Sonderkommandos watch
thousands of people being sent off to the 'shower rooms' they dread,
they dares not say even a single word of warning out of fear being
thrown in themselves. That is until Saul sees a body resembling his
dead son, Saul begins collecting jewelry and gold from the dead
bodies and clothes to help bribe his captors and watchers in search
for a rabbi to give the boy his last rites. As he manages to move
from place to place, he discovers the prisoners are planning a riot,
collecting weapons and tools, but even more shocking is that his unit
is scheduled to be killed in the morning.
This film takes you
back in time to one of the best, most brutal, most realistic film
depictions of what perhaps what life was like in one day of the
German death camps during WWII. Jews and other prisoners were forced
into slavery, worked to the bone and tossed out like garbage as soon
as they out lived their usefulness. Prisoners would sell each other
out as well sadly, if it meant they would be spared for even one day.
But the horror of the movie wasn't the death of millions of people,
but how normal everyone acted, the broken spirit of people. While
people were dying all in the background throughout the entire movie,
the main character seemed determined to complete his mission as if it
was the last thing he does.
1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image is exceptionally clear, clean
and often styled with out of focus shots, et al, to create the
density of its depiction of a living hell. Director of Photography
Matyas Erdely creates some tough, stark, unforgettable, haunting
images. The lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix is good, but
note that some audio is purposely distorted for purposes of realism,
meaning some might rate the performance here higher. The fine extras
include Q&A at the Museum of Tolerance, Deleted Scenes,
commentary and trailers.