English filmmaker Jonathan Glazer is working on a Holocaust drama set in the Auschwitz concentration camp, IndieWire reported on Wednesday. Appearing on the A Dash of Drash podcast, Glazer said that unlike previous Holocaust dramas like Schindler’s List (1993) and Son of Saul (2015), which examined the atrocities from the perspective of victims or perpetrators, his film sheds light on the those who watched the horrors unfold at the concentration camp.
“I remember being very taken by the faces of the bystanders, the onlookers, the complicit, you know? Ordinary Germans,” Glazer said. “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.”
The Under The Skin (2013) director said that his upcoming film views Auschwitz as a character. “A lot of the stories I’ve seen, I do sometimes think they could be set anywhere actually,” Glazer said. “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 said that as Jewish man, he researched the ethics of making a film set in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II as much as the history of the event, and reiterated that he would not handle the Holocaust lightly. The filmmaker said he aims to begin production next year and release the movie in 2020.
Among the most famous Holocaust films is Steven Speilberg, Schindler’s List, centred on the titular German businessman who employed over a thousand refugees in his factories during World War II and saved them from the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of Jews in Europe under Adolf Hitler’s rule.
László Nemes’s Son of Saul, a Hungarian production that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, traces two days in the life of Hungarian Sonderkommando member Saul Ausländer. Sonderkommando were work units made of Nazi death prisoners who were forced to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during the Holocaust.