On February 12, 2017, “Son of Saul” added yet another prestigious film award to it’s collection. This time winning the prize for “Best Film not in the English Language” at this this year’s British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs.
British Writer, actor, comedian and activist, Stephen Fry hosted this years awards which honour British and International Films. Coincidently, Stephen Fry is of Hungarian descent on the side of his mother.
Set in Auschwitz in 1944, “Son of Saul” tells the story of a Jewish inmate forced to escort his fellow prisoners to the gas chambers and help to dispose of their remains. In October 1944, Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, a group of Jewish prisoners forced to lead other inmates in Auschwitz-Birkenau to their deaths and dispose of their bodies in the crematoriums. One day, Saul finds a young boy and, taking him for his son, tries to arrange for a proper Jewish funeral for him. The title role is played by Géza Röhrig, a Hungarian poet and rabbi-in-training who now lives in New York.
Video source: Movieclips Trailers
The BAFTA win is just the latest cinematic laurel cinched by Director László Nemes Jeles’ film. In addition to winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and numerous film festival prizes, Son of Saul has received continuous praise since its release; among others, the film was named best film of 2016 by timeout.com, and second-best film of the year by UK newspaper the Guardian.
Son of Saul is just the second Hungarian film to win (or in fact to even be nominated) for a foreign-language BAFTA; the first came in 1986, when Colonel Redl, directed by István Szabó (who had previously won an Oscar for his film Mephisto), received the award.
Here are some notable mentions from an extensive list of awards that Son of Saul has earned since its release.
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2016)
Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2016)
BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2017)
Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2016)
Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2016)
David di Donatello for Best European Film (2016)
American Society of Cinematographers Spotlight Award (2016)
Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film (2016)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film (2015)
Guldbagge Award for Best Foreign Language Film (2017)
Polish Academy Award for Best European Film (2017)
Cannes Grand Prix (2015)
Vulcan Award (2015)
Robert Award for Best Non-American Film (2017)
Gopo for Best European Film (2017)
Golden Pram for Best Feature Film 2015)
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