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Jiao you (2013)
Warning: A lot of spoilers. I explain here the whole plot of the movie. Nothing happens. No one talks. 200 minutes.
Great reviews, though. The part about great reviews is what impresses me most about this. 100 out of 100. Masterpiece.
Saul fia (2015)
Out of focus
I start by saying that I didn't read anything about "Son of Saul" before going to the theater, and that I didn't know whether it had received bad or good comments.
"Son of Saul" is not entirely bad and I think it's worth to see it, but it looks to me out of focus. I'm aware that the documentary - first person point of view is what the director wanted to give us, but I don't like it. Everything is so shaky, the hat of Saul is always cut and the background is blurred. I don't think that this setting adds up something to the movie.
What is more important: I consider that the story is out of focus. There is realism - what the prisoners were told to be reassured in the undressing rooms (hot tea - hot coffee - hot soup waiting for them, disinfection, remember what's the number of your hook), the differences between people and their social background, with a lot of languages and a bad German used as a lingua franca, the dehumanization of the prisoners that obviously can't handle that kind of monstrosities, the word used for the corpses, that is "stucke", pieces, and the enormous rush required to the Nazi guards in order to be able to "process" (that's the term they used) all the people daily "resettled" to Auschwitz.
I saw few days ago the monumental documentary of Claude Lanzmann called Shoah, and I think that the director of "Son of Saul" saw it too, because the "quotes" are a lot.
But in all this background blurred realism, I can't get the purpose of the main character, that struggles to carry out a task that in my opinion doesn't make sense.
It looks pretty clear to me that Saul has got no sons, since he had told so to his fellow coworkers, and he has no tears for the poor young kid, but still he feels compelled to give him a proper Jewish burial.
I understand that in Auschwitz the action of risking one's own life has a completely different meaning than what it does in normal contests, and Saul states that too ("we are already dead"), anyway I still think that this movie is a good chance that has been missed.