LOS ANGELES—“Son of Saul,” the harrowing drama about a Sonderkommando at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, won the best foreign language film award at the Oscars Sunday night.
The Hungarian film from first-time director Laszlo Nemes was largely expected to win the prize and has been sweeping many of the awards from the Golden Globes to the Independent Spirit Awards.
“Even in the darkest hours of mankind there’s the voice within us that allows us to remain human,” said Nemes after accepting the award.
Nemes also thanked his lead actor Géza Röhrig, who was in nearly every frame of the film as a Jewish concentration camp worker on one day in the camp where he becomes obsessed with giving a fallen child who he believes to be his son a proper burial.
“Son of Saul’s” strongest competition was from France’s “Mustang,” a Turkish-language film about the life of five young sisters living under sexist conditions in Turkey, also from a first-time director and the only female director nominated for a narrative film, Deniz Gamze Erguven.
Also nominated were Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent,” Jordan’s “Theeb,” and Denmark’s “A War.”
This is the second win in this category for Hungary—the country won once before in 1981 for “Mephisto.”
Last year’s winner was the black and white Polish drama “Ida,” about a woman in 1962 trying to decide whether or not to become a nun.