Son of Saul
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Son of Saul is not simply a good film, it feels like an urgent and important one, a warning from history.
By any standards, this would be an outstanding film, but for a debut it is remarkable.
In terms of filmmaking prowess, "remarkable" may not do Laszlo Nemes' holocaust drama "Son of Saul" justice.
The film's effect is anti-emotional, and that's the point; it's about the insatiable process of humanity working to eradicate all traces of itself. There's no time left to weep, because the nerve endings are already dead.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Unusual for a Holocaust drama, the film offers no false hope of rescue or resurrection, but does insist that our bearing witness matters.
A remarkable refashioning of the Holocaust drama that reignites the setting with extraordinary immediacy, Son of Saul is both terrifying to watch and too gripping in its moment-to-moment to look away.
Using techniques of distanciation that sometimes make it an alienating, even confusing experience, László Nemes’s cogent, strikingly confident debut is harrowing, but cinematically rewarding.
The result is as grim and unyielding a depiction of the Holocaust as has yet been made on that cinematically overworked subject — a masterful exercise in narrative deprivation and sensory overload that recasts familiar horrors in daringly existential terms.
Though it has a few elements of its construction that might be questionable, it's mostly a powerful, thoughtful, and visually striking picture.
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
Utterly uneasy to watch but strikingly and confidently assembled, the film is a powerful aural and visual experience that doesn’t quite manage to sustain itself over the course of its running time, but is a remarkable — and remarkably intense — experience nonetheless.
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