‘Son of Saul’ wins Oscar in Best Foreign Language Film category

March 9, 2016

“Son of Saul”, a Holocaust drama from first-time feature director László Nemes, became the first Hungarian film to win Academy Award in 35 years in Best Foreign Language Film category.

During his speech at the annual Oscar ceremony Sunday night in Los Angeles, Nemes thanked the  Academy for the award and the Hungarian National Film Fund for funding the film.

“Thanks to Hungary for funding this film. I want to share this with Geza Rohrig, my main actor, and the incredible cast and crew that believed in this project when no one else did.”

In addition, Nemes added that “Even in the darkest hours, there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human. That is the hope of this film.”

The story of “Son of Saul” is set in Auschwitz–Birkenau in 1944, and tells the story of a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner, Saul Ausländer, forced to dispose of the bodies of his own people after they were killed in the gas chambers.

In his review for Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan noted that the film “is an immersive experience of the most disturbing kind, an unwavering vision of a particular kind of hell. No matter how many Holocaust films you've seen, you've not seen one like this.”

In May 2015, the film won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and later the Golden Globe Award.

“Son of Saul” is the third Hungarian film to win the Oscar since Ferenc Rófusz’s animated short movie, “The Fly” in 1981, and István Szabó’s “Mephisto” in 1982.

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