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The Grey Zone (13-Sep-2001)

Director: Tim Blake Nelson

Writer: Tim Blake Nelson

From a play: The Grey Zone by Tim Blake Nelson

Based on a book: Auschwitz: a Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli

Keywords: Drama

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
David Arquette
8-Sep-1971   Muppets From Space
Daniel Benzali
20-Jan-1950   Ted Hoffman on Murder One
Steve Buscemi
13-Dec-1957   Reservoir Dogs
Jessica Hecht
28-Jun-1965   Betsy Morgan on What About Joan
Harvey Keitel
13-May-1939   Pimp from Taxi Driver
Natasha Lyonne
4-Apr-1979   Slums of Beverly Hills
Mira Sorvino
28-Sep-1967   Mighty Aphrodite
Lee Wilkof
25-Jun-1951   Broadway actor


Review by mizi causevic (posted on 13-Feb-2005)

The Grey Zone was originally a book that was adapted into a play by Tim Blake Nelson (O, Eye Of God, Kansas) and now, Tim Blake Nelson has adapted his play into a movie that is almost unknown to the public. This film is based on a book called Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli. The film deals with one of the darkest times in the human history, Auschwitz, 1944. The story is about Sonderkommandos, a group of Jews forced to work for the Nazi's against their own kind for an exchange of having their life extended for couple of more months. As you can imagine, Sonderkommandos are put in the worst situation possible, but they all refuse to admit that they are helping the Nazi's even though their actions could be considered just as bad as the Nazi's. However, in the time of a war, and especially in this case, a morality does not exist, you do what you can to survive. Sonderkommandos can be considered traitors but also heroes, it all depends on how you look at it. To me, this situation is something I would never be able to handle on a mental level of sanity. I guess this story can be argued, and the argument will for sure have two sides. The pros and non's, like always, in time of a war, there is never really a common ground... sadly.

This film is extremely hard to stomach at certain points. A lifeless corpses piled up on one another, thick black smoke of burning bodies that echoes pure pain and suffering. Gas chambers filled with innocent people being tortured to death, cold-hearted Nazi's shooting people on the spot, an extremely bloody and a painful reminder to the audiences of the evil that has happened in 1994 and an unknown story of twelfth Sonderkommandos who lead the only armed uprising at the death camp. While many have judged these Sonderkommandos as traitors, the writer/director of this film has chosen to defend them.

Out of all the actors in the world I would have never thought David Arquette would be involved in this movie. I will have to say that I have a new found respect for him mainly because I was not aware that he could do well in a dramatic movie such as this one. I guess I am guilty of judging him from his previous movies, but I am glad that he proved to me and anyone else who might have doubted him, that he is capable of much more. The rest of the cast is also memorable but no one comes close to David Arquette. Kudos to Mira Sorvino who almost looks unrecognizable in this film. The acting from the cast is quite recognizable here but due to the fact that the story is so gripping, one often focuses on just the story and not the acting.

If you are looking for an answer to some question in this movie, you will not find it. With a story such as this one, there is no real answer, only a painful reminder.

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