The Grey Zone
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Time Out saysAn 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.