Hungary’s filmmaker received the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his outstanding and astonishing set of a Holocaust drama the „Son of Saul”. This was László Nemes Jeles – Hungarian director-screenwriter’s first debut film. The film’s script was prepared by the author in cooperation with the French script writer Clara Royer during his five months scholarship stay in Paris in 2011. The film plan was previously awarded in Sarajevo at the Film Festival with the Living Pictures prize. The film drama received Four awards in Cannes … FIPRESCI Prize running in the main competition section … the François Chalais Prize and the Vulcan Award at the festival.
A number of foreign actors took part in the film … Germany, Poland, United States of America and Israel who were preceded during the casting by tough sorting. The film shots mainly took place at several Budapest locations and at the Mafilm studio. The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp buildings have had been demolished, therefore were reconstructed on the basis of photographs and historical research.
The drama in brief: the “Son of Saul” takes place in the venue the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in 1944. A Hungarian Jewish prisoner named Saul … played by Géza Röhrig … is a member of the Sonderkommando. It is a group of prisoners given humiliating and illusory privileges as trustees and minor amount in food ration to be able to carry the bodies from the gas chambers to pyres to be burned, then carting the ashes away to be dumped. At one of the occasions Saul recognize a body of his young son. Thereafter, in secret goes to search to find a rabbi among the prisoners to give the boy a proper burial. To achieve his plan Saul was using threats, blackmail and bribes and with so-called jewellery “shiny” stolen from the bodies.
The final cut was supported by financial and professional assistance from the Hungarian National Film Fund, which contributed a total of 310.6 million HUF.
The Son of Saul for the first time to be seen nationwide by the domestic audience after the Cannes International Film Festival will be from June, 11. 2015.
The American Sony Pictures Classics acquired the rights in distributing the film.
Update by Aggie Reiter