Arriving 10 years after his last feature — 2013's Under the Skin — writer-director Jonathan Glazer's Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest takes its name from the phrase used by Nazis to describe the area surrounding Auschwitz. Glazer's story takes place right next door to the camp itself.
The Zone of Interest centers around Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), as they build a life for themselves and their children in a villa on the outskirts of the concentration camp. Glazer adapted the film from the 2014 novel of the same name by Martin Amis.
"I wanted to capture the contrast between somebody pouring a cup of coffee in their kitchen and somebody being murdered on the other side of the wall — the co-existence of those two extremes," Glazer says. "I didn't want to feel like I was making a movie about this other period [of time] and putting it in a museum... We can't think that it doesn't relate to us anymore. It clearly does, and, troublingly, it may always. So, I wanted to be looking at it with modern eyes."
At this year's Cannes Film Festival, The Zone of Interest won the Grand Prix and FIPRESCI Prize. (The other film starring Hüller at the festival, Justine Triet's Anatomy of a Fall, took home the Palme d'Or.) Glazer's creative team includes two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Łukasz Żal (Ida and Cold War) and Oscar-nominated composer Mica Levi (Jackie).
The Zone of Interest opens in select theaters on Dec. 15. Watch the trailer below.