Movie Review: Son of Saul

Glad I could keep finding some good high quality independent films in this crappy time of year for movies.

This is another one that is not going for everybody. Hungarian subtitled movie that takes place in a concentration camp. If you’re turned off by that turn away now. If you’re okay with that, get ready to feel some feelings.

This movie was amazing.

Son of Saul follows Saul Ausländer, a Hungarian-Jewish prisoner in a concentration camp. He works to dispose of the bodies after they are executed. A young boy survives the gas chamber and is put to death by suffocation. Saul makes it his goal to have this boy, whom he refers to as his son, buried in traditionally by a rabbi.

This movie was so intimate. It closely followed Saul, right behind him. At times it felt like a really grim video game in that a lot of the movie was spent looking at the world from Saul’s perspective, his shoulders and the back of his head in the foreground of many shots. There was so much going on but you frequently only saw what Saul saw. A lot of close ups. A lot of long shots.

Minute by minute something could go wrong and it could mean death for Saul but he still continued on his quest. Suspenseful and gut wrenching.

This is nominated for Best Foreign Picture at the Academy Awards coming up. Cool. It deserves it. This is the only foreign nominee I’ve seen, its a good one.

Son of Saul is playing in select theaters.

TLDR: 5/5. Powerful film. This one is going to stick with me. Compelling look at one man’s story (over the course of a day and a half) in the middle of horrific circumstances.

Steven Richard K is the host of the Search for a Cohost podcast ( and a member of the sketch group Mister Bismuth. Follow Steven on Twitter@StevenRichardK.

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