Los Angeles, January 11 (MTI) – Son of Saul by Hungarian director Laszlo Jeles Nemes has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Accepting the award held at a gala event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, Nemes said that “the Holocaust has become over the years an abstraction. For me, it’s more of a face we must not forget.”
The Golden Globe is rather important because it signals the world’s attention, the director told MTI, adding that with the award Hungarian cinema has again been put into a global spotlight.
The film takes place at the Auschwitz concentration camp and tells the story of Saul Auslaunder, a fictional Jewish member of the death camp’s Sonderkommando charged with aiding with the disposal of gas chamber victims.
It won the Grand Prix, the silver prize at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, last year and has won several other international awards so far.
The film is Hungary’s official entry for the Oscars in the category of foreign films.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban congratulated the director and his team on Son of Saul’s success in a post on his Facebook page on Monday.
“Wow! A unique Hungarian success! I convey my heartfelt congratulations to Laszlo Nemes Jeles and all the creators and actors of Son of Saul. I would like to express my appreciation to Andy Vajna, who has established a support system for the film industry that opens the path to talented professionals,” said Orban.
Commenting on the film’s success, Oscar-winning Hungarian director Istvan Szabo said he expected the achievement to have a positive impact on Hungarian cinema as a whole.
“The Golden Globe may put other Hungarian movies made recently in the international spotlight,” Szabo told public news channel M1 on Monday.
“What is new about the Son of Saul is in fact its form of narrative. The theme it addresses, the Holocaust, has already been worked into a great number of films and told by a great number of dramatic books in great detail before. The director incorporated those details into the form in which he is telling the story and he did it rather successfully, which one must applaud,” Szabo said.
Szabo noted that Being Julia, which he directed, earned British actress Annette Bening a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture in 2005.
Szabo won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Mephisto in 1981.