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Oscar winner condemns Israel-Hamas conflict in speech

Britain’s The Zone of Interest, about a German officer’s family living next door to the Auschwitz extermination camp during World War Two, has won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film, with the director, Jonathan Glazer, condemning the violence of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The film centres on the commandant Rudolf Hoss and his family as they set up a life next to the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland, where more than 1.1 million people were murdered in the largest of the concentration camps and extermination centres built by the Nazis.

Accepting the award at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, director Jonathan Glazer said the film, which explored the capacity for violence in all people and was shot entirely at Auschwitz, was relevant to the global conflicts happening today.

The Zone of Interest won Best International Feature Film and Best Sound at the Oscars on Sunday night

“All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present, not to say look what they did then. Rather, look what we do now,” Glazer said. “Our film shows where dehumanisation leads, at its worst.

“Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation that has led to conflict for so many innocent people.

“Whether it’s the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all are victims of this dehumanisation. How do we resist?” he said to cheers and applause.

Glazer previously made Sexy Beast and Under the Skin.

The Zone of Interest, based on a novel by the late Martin Amis, relies on sound, rather than on-screen violence, to convey the horror of the death camp, contrasted with the family’s seemingly ordinary lives.

The film, which won the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, also won Best Sound at the Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday night.

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The 96th Academy Awards will be broadcast on RTÉ2 on Monday from 9:35pm. The ceremony will be available on demand on the RTÉ Player.

Source: Reuters

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