The Zone of Interest + Q&A


Theater 3 Thu, Feb 15 6:30 PM



Dr, Roger Berkowitz, Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights and Academic Director, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities, Bard College will join us live and in person after the film for a talk and discussion about its themes, that echo the Banality of Evil that Hannah Arendt explores in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Dr. Roger Berkowitz, Hannah Arendt Center, Bard College

Roger Berkowitz is Founder and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities and Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Human Rights at Bard College. Professor Berkowitz authored The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition (Harvard, 2005; Fordham, 2010; Chinese Law Press, 2011). Berkowitz is editor of The Perils of Invention: Lying, Technology, and the Human Condition (forthcoming 2020) and co-editor of Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics (2009), The Intellectual Origins of the Global Financial Crisis (2012) and Artifacts of Thinking: Reading Hannah Arendt's Denktagebuch (2017). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The American Interest, Bookforum, The Forward, The Paris Review Online, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, and many other publications. Berkowitz edits HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center and the weekly newsletter Amor Mundi.  He is the winner of the 2019 Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought given by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Bremen, Germany.

About the Film

Nominated for 5 Academy Awards including both Best Picture and Best International Feature Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Jonathan Glazer), and Sound (Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn).

Director/Writer: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Martin Amis.

The Zone of Interest was 10 years in the making. After completing his film Under the Skin, Glazer became intrigued by the then not-yet-published Martin Amis novel and optioned the novel after reading it. Paul and Hannah Doll, the novel's two main characters, were loosely based on Rudolf Höss, the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, and his wife Hedwig. Glazer opted to use the historical figures instead and conducted two years of extensive research into the Hösses. He made several visits to Auschwitz and was profoundly affected by the sight of the Höss residence. He collaborated with the Auschwitz Museum and other organisations, and obtained special permission to access the archives, where he examined testimonies provided by survivors and individuals who had been employed in the Höss household. By piecing together these testimonies, Glazer gradually constructed a detailed portrayal of the individuals connected to the events. He also consulted historian Timothy Snyder's 2015 book Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning during his research. In the film, Höss, and his wife Hedwig, strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the infamous camp.

1hr 46mins/PG-13 (Thematic Material | Some Suggestive Material | Smoking)