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Son of Saul (2015)

Saul fia (original title)
R | | Drama, War | 11 June 2015 (Hungary)
1:45 | Trailer

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A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.


László Nemes (as Nemes László)


László Nemes (as Nemes László), Clara Royer
Won 1 Oscar. Another 60 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Géza Röhrig ... Saul Ausländer
Levente Molnár ... Abraham Warszawski
Urs Rechn ... Oberkapo Biederman
Todd Charmont Todd Charmont ... Bearded Prisoner
Jerzy Walczak Jerzy Walczak ... Rabbi Frankel
Gergö Farkas Gergö Farkas ... Saul's Son
Balázs Farkas Balázs Farkas ... Saul's Son
Sándor Zsótér ... Dr. Miklos Nyiszli
Marcin Czarnik ... Feigenbaum
Levente Orbán Levente Orbán ... Russian Prisoner
Kamil Dobrowolski Kamil Dobrowolski ... Mietek
Uwe Lauer ... Oberscharführer Voss
Christian Harting ... Oberscharführer Busch
Attila Fritz Attila Fritz ... Yankl (Young Prisoner)
Mihály Kormos ... Schlojme


Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. Written by LaoKoon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

11 June 2015 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

El hijo de Saúl See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »


Box Office


HUF 280,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,930, 20 December 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shot in the now unusual Academy aspect ratio of 1.375:1 to achieve a portrait-like narrow field of vision and to be close to the aspect ratio used in the 40s. See more »


The short text at the beginning says, that the members of the 'Sonderkommando' were killed after 3 months, but this is a simplification of the more complicated history. While it's correct that these men were supposed to be killed and replaced after a few months, in some cases they were killed much earlier and in other rare cases they could survive for over 2 years, like Filip Müller. This depended mostly on the skills of the individual 'Sonderkommando' slave worker, who was sometimes needed by the SS to train the new 'Sonderkommando' members, but also on pure coincidence and luck. See more »


Abraham Warszawski: You failed the living for the dead.
Saul Ausländer: We are dead already.
See more »


References Come and See (1985) See more »


Dream Faces
Written by William Marshall Hutchison
Performed by Elizabeth Spencer
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding film about concentration camps and the terrifying assignment carried out by a SonderKommando
24 January 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Impressive movie about concentration camp with realist setting , top-notch acting and evocative cinematography in 35 mm . The film was met with wide critical acclaim after its world premiere and has subsequently been submitted as Hungary's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards . This excellent movie deals with the horror of 1944 in Auschwitz , the infamous extermination center , capturing an insightful portrait of hell and the spiritual experience and focusing the story of a man wanting to bury his assumed son . Thus , when the incoming transports , mostly Jews , SS soldiers made instant decisions , those who were fit to labors were sent into the camp , others including the children , were dispatched immediately to the gas chambers where approximately one-quarter million Jews were executed . There a prisoner , a ¨Sonderkommando¨ is forced to burn the corpses of his own people , then he finds moral survival upon attempting to save from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son , and he subsequently looks for a Jewish Rabí . At the end takes place a rebellion and a breathtaking , exciting getaway .

This terrible picture is well set in Auschwitz , it was a painful extermination camp of killing of Jews including children . We see horrors , murders , massacres against the prisoners but from a particular sight point , the starring : Geza Rohrig , who gives a very good acting with his subjective vision . Along with Geza , there appears a lot of fine but unknown Hungarian actors such as Levente Monar, Urs Rechn, Tood Charmont, Sándor Zsotér, Marcin Czarnik, and Jerzy Walczak , all of them display magnificent performances ; including their realistic mélange of Hungarian, German and Yiddish dialogue . Atmospheric cinematography by Mátyás Erdély , the outside scenes were shot only with natural light , it is fully aware of the quality of light , relying on natural light for outdoors . This Hungarian Cannes prize-winner that won a Golden Globe in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category in 2016 and critically heralded Holocaust film began what is likely to be a multi-month run , calibrated in hopes of winning the Foreign Language Academy Award as well as to maximize grossing potent . It is a dark and serious flick , a splendid movie about the brutal existence at concentration camp and subsequent breakout from horrible place . The picture is based on real events , as Auschwitz along with Sobibór , Chelmno , Belzec and Treblinka were five large death camps in the Lublin district of Poland transformed into extermination centers to implement the policy of genocide thought at the Wannsee Conference . All the concentration camps were under the command of SS Odilo Globocnick . There was some minor industrial activity linked to the war effort but the main work was the execution of inmates . Victims were brought to the camp in unventilated transports , and all but a handful were gassed after arrival , the gas chambers could accommodate hundred prisoners at one time , most of their corpses were burned in open pits .

Filmmaker Laszlo Nemes , his debut feature , avoids both , melodrama and violence , giving a thought-provoking as well as intense description about the hard existence in Auschwitz . Director László Nemes stated on cinematic inspirations : ¨Come and see¨ (1985) by Elem Klimov was a great source of inspiration for me ; however the film bears remarkable resemblance to ¨The grey zone¨ (201) by Tim Blake Nelson . Nemes took testimony from present witnesses , he made a real investigation labour and had particular help of prestigious historians as Gideon Grief , Philippe Mesnard and Zoltan Vagi . Nemes wanted to convey something that goes against the perception through films, that it is a mixture of organisation and chaos . Lazsló called Nobel prize-winning Hungarian writer and concentration camp survivor Imre Kertész an inspiration to make this film . He took records from known documentary ¨Shoa¨ by Claudie Lanzmann , especially the actual testimony from Abraham Bomba , as well as of the ¨Memorial of Shoa¨ , with a book titled ¨Voices under the ashes¨ also titled ¨The writings of Auschwitz¨ .

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