Sony Classics Buys Holocaust Drama ‘Son of Saul’ at Cannes Festival

The film is in competition and a festival favorite

Geza Rohrig in Son of Saul
"Son of Saul"

‘Son of Saul,’ a Holocaust drama by first-time director Laszlo Nemes was acquired for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, according to media reports.

The film, which is playing in the main competition, has been drawing significant buzz for its searing impact and the fact that this is Nemes’ first film. It tells the story of Saul, a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp forced to burn the corpses of other Jews, who finds moral survival in trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

The film won over the critics early in the festival. TheWrap’s Steve Pond wrote: “”Son of Saul” does something remarkable: It finds an original way to look at the Holocaust cinematically, bringing a startling energy and a fresh look to a subject already explored countless times onscreen.

“…The camera mirrors Saul’s ability to shut things out, because it almost never leaves his face (or the back of his head) and rarely backs up to show even a medium shot. This is Saul’s world, tight and claustrophobic and chaotic; we might see dead bodies or Nazi guards in quick flashes in the corners of the frame, but mostly what we’re looking at is Saul’s impassive face, drained of humanity because to be human would be unbearable.”

The film is considered a contender for the Palme d’Or. It was sold by Film Distribution.