Zone of Interest: Enter at Your Own Risk

My day started off rather prophetically when I saw an absolute heinous Vogue article by a young mother who just can’t stand playing with her toddler son. UGH! I thought. There is no justice that ungrateful brats can have children while others who really want them go through painstaking In vitro procedures to no avail. And this feeling of disgust was just the tip of the iceberg as my day went on to the cinema…

The Zone of Interest was written originally written by novelist Martin Amis. Researching I noticed that Amis died just last year at 73 in Florida, no less. Being a life long smoker is what caused his life ending cancer.

The film, directed by Jonathan Glazer, who you may know by his other creepy films: Sexy Beast and Under the Skin, the two I’ve seen and ‘enjoyed’. The Zone of Interest has garnered Glazer his first Oscar nomination (actually two-director and adapted screenplay).

And on that note, let’s continue with this soul crushing film. I am not sure how Sandra Huller got conned into playing such a despicable role, nor the actor who plays her husband, Christian Friedel.

From an acting standpoint, everyone hit their mark. While my love for Huller never let me forget who she is, I was still completely immersed in hers and all the performances. Storytelling was mostly impeccable, but I confess I need to research the middle insertions of thermal imaging filming of a young girl planting apples into the ashes the ashes.

Certainly I did understand all the metaphors, the aimless black dog symbolizing rampant evil and hatred, the young child crying constantly as symbol of what’s going on next door, the sinister older brother who locks his brother in the ‘hothouse’ who’s future trajectory we can see a mile away, following in his father’s evil footsteps. The hothouse an enclosure full of life while the ovens next door are capsules full of death. The excess of food juxtaposing the starvation of the Jewish people. The love for a horse and the celebrations of birthdays where life next door is disposed of without a thought.
The most troubling aspect of the film, besides the extreme selfishness of Huller’s Helga, is the sound. We don’t have to see bodies being snuffed out next door because we can see it, almost smell it, through the smoke, screams and ashes of the sound effects.

Glazer’s film is effective with a capital E. Does this make it award worthy? I suppose.

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Unable to load the Are You a Human PlayThru™. Please contact the site owner to report the problem.