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The Grey Zone (2001)

Trailer
2:54 | Trailer
A Nazi doctor, along with the Sonderkommando, Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews, find themselves in a moral grey zone.

Director:

Tim Blake Nelson

Writers:

Miklos Nyiszli (based in part on "Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account") (as Dr. Miklos Nyiszli), Tim Blake Nelson (play) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Arquette ... Hoffman
Velizar Binev ... Moll
David Chandler David Chandler ... Max Rosenthal
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Cohen
George Zlatarev George Zlatarev ... Lowy (as Georgy Zlatarev)
Dimitar Ivanov Dimitar Ivanov ... Old Man
Daniel Benzali ... Simon Schlermer
Allan Corduner ... Dr. Miklos Nyiszli
Steve Buscemi ... 'Hesch' Abramowics
Harvey Keitel ... SS-Oberscharführer Erich Mußfeldt
Henry Stram Henry Stram ... SS-Hauptsturmführer Josef Mengele
Kamelia Grigorova Kamelia Grigorova ... Girl
Lisa Benavides-Nelson Lisa Benavides-Nelson ... Anja (as Lisa Benavides)
Shirly Brener ... Inmate
Mira Sorvino ... Dina
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Storyline

The true story of Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jew chosen by Josef Mengele to be the head pathologist at Auschwitz. Nyiszli was one of Auschwitz's Sonderkommandos - Special Squads of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating moral dilemma of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. Together, the Sonderkommandos struggled to organize the only armed revolt that would ever take place at Auschwitz. As the rebellion is about to commence, a group from the unit discovers a 14-year-old girl who has miraculously survived a gassing. A catalyst for their desperate attempt at personal redemption, the men become obsessed with saving this one child, even if doing so endangers the uprising which could save thousands. To what terrible lengths are we willing to go to save our own lives, and what in turn would we sacrifice to save the lives of others? Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story You Haven't Seen

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Lions Gate Entertainment

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

30 November 2001 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

A szürke zóna See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,526, 20 October 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$517,872, 22 December 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Expert Andreas Kilian criticized the depiction of the Sonderkommando revolt in The Grey Zone (2001) as "exaggerated" in his 2014 article "Zum 70. Jahrestag eines Symbols des Widerstands". Earlier depictions of the revolt in the films Pasazerka (1963) and Triumph of the Spirit (1989) would be misleading, too, because f.e. the Sonderkommando prisoners had no guns and grenades to defend themselves, there was no explosion in a crematory, only a fire, and only one crematory was damaged. The cinematic depiction in Saul fia (2015) is the most accurate yet. See more »

Goofs

Overall shots show four crematoria side by side. In reality crematoria 4 and 5 were located quite a distance away from the other two. See more »

Quotes

SS-Oberscharfuhrer Eric Muhsfeldt: I never fully despised the Jews until I experienced how easily they could be persuaded to do the work here. To do it so well. And to their own people! They'll be dead by week's end, every soul. And we'll replace them with others no different. Do you know how easy that will be?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Alto Rhapsody, Opus 53
(1869)
Composed by Johannes Brahms
Marjana Lipovsek, contralto
Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Claudio Abbado
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Very Good Film
25 May 2003 | by fakemagSee all my reviews

I was a little wary of this film because of the cast - but David Arquette was surprisingly good. I happen to like films that have a theatrical uality - so that was fine with me. At first I wondered why Harvey spoke with an accent, and no one else did - then midway through the film I got that the idea was that the Jews HEARD his German accent - and since the story was from THEIR perspective, they had no accents from their point of view. To convey this to an American audience, they spoke like Americans. I despise Shindler's List . That film turned a horror into a feel good event. Disgusting. THIS movie doesn't manipulate you with sappy speeches and ridiculous violin crescendos, nor does it get sweet and sentimental like Saving Private Ryan. This movie is about horror - and it ends horribly. It doesn't cheapen the death, it forces you to feel all of the terrible weight.


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