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July 12, 2018 4:53 pm

New Holocaust Movie Set in Auschwitz Focuses on Bystander and ‘Complicit’ Germans

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The main gate at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

A new film set in the Auschwitz concentration camp will highlight the perspective of the German witnesses and spectators that stood back as the horrors of the Holocaust unfolded in front of them, IndieWire reported on Wednesday.

The upcoming drama will be directed by Jewish filmmaker Jonathan Glazer, who has yet to release the film’s title. During an appearance on the “A Dash of Drash” podcast, Glazer said about the film’s focus, “I remember being very taken by the faces of the bystanders, the onlookers, the complicit, you know? Ordinary Germans. I started wondering how it would be possible to stand by and watch that. Some of the faces actually enjoy it. The spectacle of it. The kinda circus of it.”

Glazer said Auschwitz will take on more of a character role in his project as opposed to simply being the film’s setting, which is something he dislikes that has been done in past Holocaust movies, IndieWire explained. He noted, “A lot of the stories I’ve seen, I do sometimes think they could be set anywhere actually. As soon as you define a plot, you’re sort of somehow relegating Auschwitz as a place and it becomes a context. For me, I don’t want to do that. I just felt that was wrong.”

Glazer’s last film “Under the Skin,” starring Scarlett Johansson, was released in April 2014. The filmmaker said he has spent the last “four or five years working entirely” on this Holocaust drama. He explained that much of the development process was spent doing research on the history of the Holocaust and also the “ethics” of making a film about this horrific time in history, IndieWire reported. He added that he will not be handling the subject matter “lightly.”

Glazer said he hopes to start filming next summer and release the film in 2020.

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