Son of Saul tells the harrowing story Saul Ausländer, a prisoner in the Auschwitz death camp forced to work each day removing a seemingly endless stream of bodies from the camp's gas chambers.
As played by Géza Röhrig, Saul is closely followed by the camera throughout the film. Even as he performs his grim tasks, his expression remains blank. One day, Saul finds among the stack of corpses the body of a young boy who he believes to be his son, and the film follows his quest to give the child a proper Jewish burial.
Son of Saul premiered at Cannes, where it won the Grand Prix and immediately started generating Oscar buzz -- much to the surprise of first-time Hungarian director László Nemes, who had faced resistance from multiple countries as he tried to get the film funded.
Nemes recently sat down with KCRW's Matt Holzman. They spoke about the struggle to get the film made, the intensity on the very realistic set and Nemes' desire to make a different kind of Holocaust movie.