The Zone of Interest

The Zone of Interest ★★★★★

A fitting complement to Peter Cohen's astonishing The Architecture of Doom, which dissects the Third Reich's quest to return society to the ideals of classical antiquity through systematic, calculated annihilation. Here, Glazer leverages our collective memory of images from the death camps, choosing to evoke this violence through implicit cues only. At first, the day-to-day actions of Rudolf Höss, his family members, and colleagues are captured in a naturalistic unfolding of time: Eden-like gardens are tended to, domestic chores play out, and bureaucratic meetings chaired. But soon, all this is disrupted by a series of jarring multi-modal ruptures - flowerbeds doused in gunshots and shrieks; infrared cameras as portals into the uncanny; a shattering footnote offered on the playing of diegetic piano music - culminating in a fissure in chronological narrative that feels both so nightmarish and clinical that it left me breathless.

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