The Grey Zone [DVD] [2001]

The DVD for this talky Holocaust drama from writer/director Tim Blake Nelson has a 1.85:1 anamorphic image, and, for a lower-budget film, looks quite good. The grim, dark, and hostile images of the Nazi concentration camp come across in vivid detail, so the limited use of bright color is only more jarring when it is introduced. An English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack actually packs more punch than would be expected. Surrounds are used liberally, with some very effective sequences. The dialogue is clear and distinguishable throughout the movie, although sound levels do seem somewhat low at times. What is lacking here is a decent number of supplements. Beyond home video previews for this and Eye of God (also directed by Nelson), there are only a handful of deleted scenes with optional commentary from the director. He states here that he decided not to record a commentary for the film, itself, which is unfortunate since this truth-based story really could use more exposition on its origins and impact. While not in the same league as other such films, The Grey Zone does stand on its own, and has a respectable DVD to go along with it.
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Special Features

  • Deleted scenes with director's commentary
  • Cast and crew commentary
  • 16x9 widescreen
  • Theatrical trailer
  • English & Spanish subtitles
  • 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Closed Captioned


The Grey Zone
Actor, writer, and director Tim Blake Nelson adapts this grim look at the Holocaust from his own play, based on Miklós Nyiszli's book, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account. The film centers on the Sonderkommando: Jewish concentration camp prisoners whose job was to herd their fellow Jews into the gas chamber, and to dispose of the bodies following the execution. In return, these prisoners received food and a little more time before their own executions. As the members of the sonderkommando struggle to orchestrate what would be the only armed insurrection in Auschwitz, a group of them discover a 14-year-old girl who somehow survived the gas chamber. The girl becomes a symbol for their own spiritual salvation and they become obsessed with keeping the girl alive, even if it endangers the uprising that could save thousands. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • David Arquette
    David Arquette - Hoffman
  • Daniel Benzali
    Daniel Benzali - Schlermer
  • Steve Buscemi
    Steve Buscemi - Abramowies
  • David Chandler
    David Chandler - Rosenthal
  • Image coming soon
    Alan Corduner - Dr. Nyiszli

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