People keep asking me if The Revenant is really that violent. YES, The Revenant is rough, but it isn’t the most violent movie I’ve seen this year. In fact, I thought Beasts of No Nation was far more disturbing, and covered my eyes AND ears to escape the onscreen violence. I thought it’d be years before I sat through anything that unnerving again, but then came Son of Saul.
This Hungarian picture is about the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz during World War II. These prisoners were forced to clean out the gas chambers after they were used for executions, but it usually wasn’t long before they were executed as well. Saul is a member of the Sonderkommando. He keeps his head down and tries not to see the bodies of the dead, until he recognizes a face among them. After that, his only wish is to have a proper burial for the body, even if it interrupts plans for a secret rebellion. Continue reading →