Son of Saul

Synopsis: Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): László Nemes
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 58 wins & 54 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min




A gentle warm light shines on the face of a 40 year-old

looking man, as he walks in what seems to be a grove.

His name is SAUL AUSLANDER. He wears a white shirt under his +

dark jacket, with a half-hidden number on it: B-7005. On the +

back of his jacket, a red X is painted. He wears a flat +

civilian hat. He walks with determination, at a regular pace,

his lips tight. The trees around give some shelter from the

sun, birds sing amidst the branches.

He stops for a while and glances around, at some older people

around taking off their heavy winter coats, sitting on the

grass. The voices of children, calling for water, can be

heard. A YOUNG BOY stands on the side, carrying a water can. +

Sounds of branch cracking, of steps on the ground. Footsteps +

of many more people. Pieces of words can be heard, in a

continuous humming of different voices and languages.

Behind Saul, children play. Someone comes to him and talks to

him, he mumbles something, looks away and moves on.

Four other SONDERKOMMANDO PRISONERS pass Saul by. They all +

start instructing the civilians to get up and leave. The +

civilians are gathered in rows of 5, and pushed to the road. +

Three SOLDIERS appear on the side, waiting. +

Orders are shouted and the group starts advancing on the

slight slope of a dusty road.

The Sonderkommando prisoners accompany the civilians who +

carry suitcases, bundles, cans and other objects. Some people +

carry infants. We only catch glimpses of some of the faces +

and clothes. These are weary, slightly disorientated faces, +

most of them in dark-colored heavy clothes. +

On Saul’s right, a large GROUP OF PEOPLE walks as well,


Saul looks in the direction of the people beside him, as if

to check. His pace slows down, other people catch up with

him. Some of them stare at him. Saul doesn’t engage with


The group comes to a halt. Saul faces them, but keeps on

walking quietly. Further down some of the people have taken

off their heavy winter coats and sit on the grass.

Shooting Draft April 25, 2014


Saul advances in the midst of a CROWD of agitated people, and

briefly looks to the side at kneeling, crying figures. +

The road turns to an open range where isolated PEOPLE in gray

and green clothes point in one direction, at the chaos of

whirling humans in heavy, dark clothes and carrying suitcases

or bundles.

Orders are shouted and repeated, first in German, followed by

other languages.

In the background, civilians get off from wagons of a

merchandise train. Smoke rises from afar. Heaps of personal +

belongings pile up next to the train. OLD and CROOKED PEOPLE +

are put onto one TRUCK. The truck departs and draws nearer. +

Another truck is loaded with personal belongings. +

The rhythm of the advancing accelerates, Sonderkommando

prisoners reacting to German orders by pushing the people


Suddenly, Saul and his comrades from the Sonderkommando +

suddenly stop. They take off their flat hats and lower their +

heads. Two SS OFFICERS pass them by. +

Saul goes on. +

Saul walks faster, advancing in the large crowd.

Near the crowd, OLD PEOPLE disembark from a military truck. +

He passes a group of people undressing.

Saul walks down a few steps that lead to a large underground



A feeble artificial light replaces the sunlight that fades

away. People from behind enter the hall.

In a distance, the voice of an SS MAN catches the attention

of the people around Saul - a long, quietly uttered monologue

in German. Saul remains on the side of the underground, he

watches the people. His face barely reflects any expression

but tiredness.

The voice stops talking. The people next to Saul start doing

something. Next to Saul, a MAN puts two fingers on the

highest button of his messy shirt and hesitates. Saul looks

at the man, who finally undoes his shirt. Saul leans and

picks up the man’s clothes on the ground. He gathers more of

the clothes lying on the ground and puts them on the side.

Shooting Draft April 25, 2014


A MAN in a jacket with a painted red X over it is helping an

ELDERLY WOMAN to remove pins from a shawl. Next to them,

other people go on undressing. Naked women pass him by and

pudently hide in a corner.



Reassuring voices speaking in different languages can be

heard, but only fragments make their way to him: “hot meal”

and “hurry up”.


(in Hungarian)

You have to remember the number.

Saul goes to a corner in the corridor and stands still. He is

soon joined by other MEN IN WHITE SHIRTS. They don’t talk.

Next to him, naked people walk further down. Saul’s face is

blank as we catch a glimpse at the huge crowd passing him

by. Voices rise, questions, in various languages, then fade


The last naked people, agitated, are being pushed into the

other hall by men in uniform.

The sound of a heavy door closing.

The men in uniform leave.

Saul and the other men in white shirts collect the clothes

hanging on the racks and throw them on the ground. Cries

surround them.

A bald MAN comes near Saul still taking the clothes out of

the racks. The bald man speaks in a low voice to the man next

to Saul, a strong man in his thirties, LANDESMAN. The bald

man looks at Saul.


(in Yiddish)

You too.


Saul leaves with Landesman. They enter a smaller corridor.

The cries are louder. Landesman opens a door on the right.

They go inside. There await several other MEN IN WHITE SHIRT,

faces turned to the ground.



A gas chamber with plaster walls. Artificial light comes down

from a low ceiling.


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László Nemes

László Nemes (born Nemes Jeles László; 18 February 1977) is a Hungarian film director and screenwriter. His 2015 debut feature film, Son of Saul, was screened in the main competition at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix. He is the first Hungarian director whose film has won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His film, Son of Saul, is the second Hungarian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. more…

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