Holocaust drama ‘Son of Saul’ named runner up at Cannes

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Holocaust drama “Son of Saul” received the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film, which centers on the Jewish prisoners who were forced to help the Nazis run the concentration camps, took the second-place Grand Prix award behind French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” a drama about a group of Sri Lankan refugees in Paris. The awards were presented on Sunday.

Sony Pictures Classics purchased the U.S. distribution rights for “Son of Saul” during the festival. No official release date has been announced.

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It is the first film for Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes, who said in accepting the prize: “This continent is still haunted by this subject.”

Other films of Jewish interest at Cannes included Natalie Portman’s adaptation of Israeli novelist Amos Oz’s memoir “A Tale of Love and Darkness;” Woody Allen’s latest production, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone; “Amy,” the documentary about the late Jewish singer Amy Winehouse, which has impressed critics but angered her family; and the Israeli entry “Afterthought.”

Jewish filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen served as presidents of the festival’s prize jury.

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