Simple is better. Less is more. Those are two fundamentals I try to stick to when writing. So when I read a book or watch a movie that excels at those mantras I am blown away.

Zone of Interest’s premise is simple and is the simple story of a family. That just happens to live in a house on the outside wall of Auschwitz. And the head of the family is the camp commandant. We never really see inside the camp. There is a constant hum in the air along with smoke rising. There are distant, and not-so-distant shots constantly echoing. The sounds of manufacturing machinery, the crematoria, furnaces, boots, period-accurate gunfire and human sounds of pain are a constant refrain. Yet this family goes on with their life. Fishing. Raising a beautiful garden. Admiring a mink coat that came from . . .

This movie is powerful in a sublime way. How the petty concerns of a family, whose head of household is responsible for so much death and misery, are simply laid out without commentary. The fact that his wife refuses to move after he gets reassigned because she loves her garden so much is stunning.

There are many little pieces in this movie that fit together to show the potential for our ability as humans to ignore pain and suffering so easily when it isn’t us. Even more so when it profits us. 

Definitely recommend this movie.