Cannes favourite The Zone of Interest director says it is not a museum piece
The Zone of Interest, a movie directed by Martin Amis, has become a favourite at Cannes. However, Amis wants people to understand that the film is not a “museum piece.”
The Zone of Interest is based on Amis’ novel of the same name. It is set in a fictionalized Auschwitz and follows various characters, including a high-ranking Nazi officer, a Jewish man in a Sonderkommando, and a young woman working in the camp.
Amis said that the book and the film are not meant to be a historical record. Instead, they are an attempt to understand the events that took place during the Holocaust.
“I think the problem with museum pieces is they’re closed,” Amis said. “They’re sealed behind glass, and you admire them, but you don’t engage with them.”
Amis hopes that the film will encourage people to think about the Holocaust in a deeper way and to appreciate the complexity of the people involved.
“I think it’s a way of accessing the unimaginable, really,” he said. “And I think these things that are so unimaginable – the worst things that human beings have ever done to each other – it’s vital that it’s accessible.”
The Zone of Interest stars Rupert Friend, John Malkovich, and Florence Pugh. It has received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike at Cannes.
The film is not the only project about the Holocaust that Amis has worked on. He previously wrote a book called Time’s Arrow, which tells the story of a Nazi doctor who experiences his life backwards.
Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, Amis said that he believes the film is ultimately uplifting.
“I think it’s a film about redemption,” he said. “It’s about understanding who we are and what we’re capable of, and I think that leads to redemption.”