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The power and horror of "Son of Saul," a visceral plunge into the life of a Sonderkommando at Auschwitz-Birkenau, has left audiences staggering since it first debuted at Cannes last May.Now, Nemes' work is a top contender for best foreign-language film at Sunday's Academy Awards.Not for the faint of heart, "Son of Saul" is a deliberate rejection of less severe Holocaust films.Shot on 35mm film, "Son of Saul" stitches together lengthy tracking shots that stay close to Rohrig's Saul.The film never depicts the gas chamber.Nemes, who has ancestors who were killed at Auschwitz, wanted to make a film that reminded viewers of the reality of the Holocaust. While the film has been met by widespread acclaim, it has also drawn skepticism in some quarters for its blend of historical atrocity and a technically cunning filmmaking that, in staying with Saul over a day and a half, bears no context of the Holocaust. Nemes, who moved to France with his mother at age 12, worked up to "Son of Saul" with a two-year apprenticeship with the existential Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr.
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