“Son of Saul, ” the Hungarian Holocaust drama from first-time feature director Laszlo Nemes, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night’s 88th Academy Awards.
In one week “Son of Saul, ” scooped the Indie Spirit for Best International Film and won its category at the Golden Reel Awards. Nemes said from the Oscar stage, “Even in the darkest hours of mankind, there might be a voice within us that allows us to remain human. That is the hope of this film.”
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The win is the second straight for a Holocaust film in the category. In 2015, the Polish film “Ida, ” about a young soon-to-be nun who learns her parents were Jews killed during the war, took home the best foreign film Oscar.
tells the story of Saul Auslander, a Jewish inmate forced to escort his fellow prisoners to the gas chambers and help to dispose of their remains.
Of the hauntingly intense Holocaust drama, Son Of Saul set follows Saul Auslander, a Jewish Sonderkommando, over a day and a half, in Auschwitz in 1944. The film closely focuses on Saul (Géza Rohrig) forced to escort his fellow prisoners to the gas chambers and help to the endless stream of bodies from the gas chambers dispose of their remains.
Saul (Géza Rohrig) as he discovers among the dead a barely alive boy he believes is his young son. Failing to save the boy from being murdered, he becomes obsessed with finding a rabbi to give him a proper burial.
One more Jewish-related wins, Charles Randolph, husband of Israeli actress Mili Avital, won the Academy Award of Best Adapted Screenplay for the film “The Big Short, ” along with Adam McKay. On stage, Randolph said to his wife in Hebrew “I love you.”
Meanwhile “Spotlight, ” a film about the efforts of Jewish Boston Globe editor Marty Baron to unearth a covered-up child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, picked up the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and won the night’s big prize of Best Picture, beating out the favored frontier epic “The Revenant.”
After going home empty-handed four times previously, Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar, for a best actor in “The Revenant” — a gruff, grunting performance that traded little on the actor’s youthful charisma. DiCaprio, greeted with a standing ovation, took the moment to talk about climate change.
“Let us not take our planet for granted, ” he said. “I do not take tonight for granted.”