The Grey Zone

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An adaptation of director Tim Blake Nelson's own play, The Grey Zone is about the Jewish Sonderkommando at Auschwitz who bought themselves time by conducting their brethren's extermination. The title connotes the shroud of human ash that envelops the camp and the spirit of the inmates, as well as the debased moral 'choice' offered these wretched chosen ones. The film is no exercise in Jewish self-loathing but asks what life is worth when death is so palpably inglorious. It's not exactly a joy to behold (and some will find Keitel's heavily accented Nazi commander hard to take), but the steady, matter of fact verism is utterly effective, making manifest the diffuse industrial process, rather than the caricature of isolated actions, through which modern evil wreaks its will.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tim Blake Nelson
Screenwriter: Tim Blake Nelson
Cast: David Arquette
Allan Corduner
Steve Buscemi
Harvey Keitel
Mira Sorvino
Natasha Lyonne
Daniel Benzali
David Chandler

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening
George Marshall

I was deeply moved by this film which is the first to convincingly create the real sense of being in the middle of Auschwitz- it is extremely effective. I feel that it by far the best recent film on the Holocaust- far better than Schindlers List. This film, by comparison, has been seriously underrated- possibly because it is so effective and disturbing. No wonder they gave the Oscars to superficial drivel like Life is Beautiful.

George Marshall

I was deeply moved by this film which is the first to convincingly create the real sense of being in the middle of Auschwitz- it is extremely effective. I feel that it by far the best recent film on the Holocaust- far better than Schindlers List. This film, by comparison, has been seriously underrated- possibly because it is so effective and disturbing. No wonder they gave the Oscars to superficial drivel like Life is Beautiful.