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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Holocaust > WWII > Hungary > Son Of Saul (2015/Sony Pictures Classic Blu-ray)

Son Of Saul (2015/Sony Pictures Classic Blu-ray)

Picture: A Sound: C+ Extras: B Film: B+

Saul 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).

Saul (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.

The 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.

- Ricky Chiang


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