Britain’s ‘Zone of Interest’ wins best international film Oscar

March 11, 2024 - 8:31 AM
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Director Jonathan Glazer wins the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for "The Zone of Interest" of United Kingdom during the Oscars show at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 10, 2024. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

LOS ANGELES — Britain’s “The Zone of Interest,” about a German officer’s family living next door to the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War Two, won the Oscar for best international feature film on Sunday.

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The movie centers on the commandant Rudolf Hoss and his family as they set up a life next to the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland, where more than 1.1 million people were murdered in the largest of the concentration camps and extermination centers built by the Nazis.

Director Jonathan Glazer, who earlier made “Sexy Beast” and “Under the Skin,” said he wanted to show the capacity for violence in all people in the film, which was shot entirely at Auschwitz.

“We think we could never behave this way and we don’t behave this way, but I think we should be less certain in that,” Glazer said.

The movie, based on a novel by the late Martin Amis, relies on sound, rather than on-screen violence, to convey the horror of the death camp, contrasted with the family’s seemingly ordinary lives.

“The Zone of Interest,” which also won the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, is also nominated for best picture and best director Oscars.

Other nominees in the category were “Perfect Days” from Japan, Spain’s “Society of the Snow,” “The Teacher’s Lounge” from Germany, and Italy’s “Io Capitano.”

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— Writing by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Jonathan Oatis