JERUSALEM– Laszlo Nemes, whose directorial debut “Son of Saul” won Cannes’s Grand Prize, attended the Jerusalem film festival to participate in the Sam Spiegel Film Lab’s Jury and took the opportunity to chat about his movie’s journey from financing to premiering it at the festival, as well as his views on the European film scene.
“Concentration camps were a mix of organization and chaos and that was our approach for this film,” said Nemes, who expresses a blend of determination, strength and humility. “Everybody came to the shoot with the Holocaust in mind. I had a lot of discussions with the actors, I told them to ban this feeling of self-pity, to bring (their act) down, do less. In a way it’s the most primitive way of directing.”
There has been countless movies about the Holocaust but Nemes says none truthfully “conveyed the experience of the camps, its limitations, its chaos, what it meant to be a human being living in the camps.”
“I wanted to make a film about the Shoah, but I didn’t know how to do it. I wanted to stick with one character but I needed an angle. After two or three years, the sentence came (…) it had to be about a member of the commando who was burning his own people,” explained the helmer.
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