Is The Zone Of Interest A Real Story? (& Where To Stream It In The UK)

By Olivia Emily

4 months ago

Tune into awards season’s buzziest film


Jonathan Glazer’s WWII movie The Zone of Interest is generating lots of buzz after bagging two Oscars and three BAFTAs this awards season. But, if you haven’t seen it, you might feel out of the loop. Here’s everything you need to know about the film, plus how to watch The Zone of Interest in the UK.

The Zone Of Interest

A man smoking a cigarette in The Zone of Interest

© A24

Loosely based on English author Martin Amis’ 2014 novel of the same name, The Zone of Interest is a German language World War II film generating lots of buzz this awards season. Amis sadly died in May 2023, around the time the film adaptation premiered, but English director Jonathan Glazer began work on his adaptation long ago – before the novel was even published, in fact.

What Is The Zone Of Interest About?

The Zone of Interest follows Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), the commandant of Auschwitz, and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller) as they build their dream life in a house right next to the camp. Produced by Film4, Access, the Polish Film Institute, JW Films and Extreme Emotions (making it a co-production between the United States, the United Kingdom and Poland), the film begins in 1943, where Rudolf, Hedwig and their five children live in their idyllic, verdant home, a chilling contrast to the horrors occurring a stone’s throw away.

Three women standing beside a dining room table

© A24

Is The Zone Of Interest A True Story?

Yes, The Zone of Interest is based on real people. Intrigued by Amis’ protagonists, Paul and Hannah Doll, Glazer dug beneath the surface of the novel to research the real people Amis had drawn inspiration from: Rudolf Höss, the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, and his wife Hedwig. The Zone of Interest film centres on these two historical figures, which Glazer spent two years researching, alongside trips to Auschwitz and the Höss’ residence. Working with the Auschwitz Museum, Glazer examined archival material, including testimonies by survivors of the concentration camp and individuals who had been employed in the Höss household. He used these real testimonies to construct the film’s events.

How To Watch The Zone Of Interest

The Zone of Interest in showing in cinemas across the UK. It is also available to purchase on Apple TV, Curzon Google Play, Prime Video and YouTube to stream at home.

Is There A Trailer?

Fancy scouting out the vibe before you tune into the film? Watch the trailer below.

Who Stars?

  • Christian Friedel as Rudolf Höss
  • Sandra Hüller as Hedwig Höss
  • Ralph Herforth as Oswald Pohl
  • Daniel Holzberg as Gerhard Maurer
  • Sascha Maaz as Arthur Liebehenschel
  • Freya Kreutzkam as Eleonore Pohl
  • Imogen Kogge as Linna Hensel
  • Johann Karthaus as Klaus Höss
  • Lilli Falk as Heidetraut Höss
  • Nele Ahrensmeier as Inge-Brigitt Höss
  • Luis Noah Witte as Hans-Jürgen Höss
  • Kalman Wilson as Annegret Höss
  • Anastazja Drobniak as Annegret Höss
  • Cecylia Pekala as Annegret Höss
  • Julia Polaczek as Aleksandra Bystroń-Kołodziejczyk
  • Wolfgang Lampl as Wilhelm Hans Burger
  • Max Beck as Schwarzer
  • Medusa Knopf as Elfryda
  • Andrey Isaev as Bronek
  • Zuzanna Kobiela as Aniela
  • Stephanie Petrowitz as Sophie
  • Martyna Poznanski as Marta
  • Ralf Zillmann as Hoffmann
  • Marie Rosa Tietjen
  • Christopher Manavi
A man walking a wheelbarrow beside some plants

© A24

Where Was It Filmed?

The Zone of Interest was filmed in Auschwitz in southern Poland in 2021.

Is The House Real?

The house in the film is a replica of the real Höss family home, which has been a private residence since the end of the war. Instead, production designer Chris Oddy converted a derelict home beyond the camp wall into a replica of the residence, planting a garden in April 2021 so it would be in bloom ready for filming.

Is It In German?

Most of The Zone of Interest is in German, with some parts in Polish and others in Yiddish.

A still from The Zone of Interest depicting a woman holding a baby beside some plants

© A24

Where Is It Streaming?

The Zone of Interest is available to purchase on Apple TV, Curzon Google Play, Prime Video and YouTube to stream at home.

Awards

The Zone of Interest was nominated for a plethora of awards, including three Golden Globes, five Oscars and nine BAFTAs. It has walked away with the following:

  • Two Academy Awards: Best International Feature Film, Best Sound
  • Three BAFTA Awards: Outstanding British Film, Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Sound
  • Four Cannes Film Festival Awards: Grand Prix, FIPRESCI Prize, Soundtrack Award, CST Artist-Technician Award.