The Polish-British film “The Zone of Interest” was awarded two Oscars

Polish-British film „The Zone of Interest” made history at the Oscars on Sunday by becoming the UK’s first film to win the Best International Feature award. 

Jonathan Glazer’s acclaimed Holocaust drama, featuring Sandra Hüller and Christian Friedel, is set in German-occupied Poland with dialogue in German and Polish. Despite this, the film won under the UK submission category due to rules that prioritise the country of production and creative control.

Financed by British production company Film4 and directed by London native Glazer, „The Zone of Interest” was loosely based on a novel by British author Martin Amis. While the director’s nationality played a role, eligibility for the category is primarily determined by the country of production.

With this win, the UK became the first nation without a previous win since South Korea’s victory for „Parasite” in 2020. Notably, „The Zone” is the first film in the German and Polish languages submitted by the UK, marking a significant milestone.

Furthermore, the film’s nomination for Best Picture among its five total nods showcased its broad support within the Academy, echoing a trend where Best Picture nominees often dominate the International Feature category.

In a notable comparison, „The Zone of Interest” joins „Son of Saul” (2015) as the second film set at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp to win the award in the last decade. Despite their shared setting, the two films differ drastically in style, with „The Zone” opting to unsettle audiences by avoiding explicit visual depictions of the horrors within the camp walls.


Image: screenhots from the film

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen