Past Event

The Zone of Interest

March 27, 2024
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

Jonathan Glazer, 2023, 105 min.

Screening and discussion with Jane M. Gaines, Fabien Théofilakis, A. Dirk Mosesand Richard F. Wetzell

The year is 1943. Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig strive to build a dream life for their family: their idyllic home, complete with a thriving garden, is separated only by a wall from the horrors of Auschwitz, where Rudolf, a commandant, oversees the Final Solution. As Rudolf's stature in the government grows, his family remains blissfully ignorant of the atrocities going on just outside their front door – and the fact that their patriarch is a key player in one of history's darkest chapters. The Zone of Interest transforms Martin Amis's novel into a chilling and unforgettable treatise on complicity.  The film is nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Click here to watch the trailer

Jane Gaines is Professor Emerita of Literature and English, Duke University and currently Professor of Film, Columbia University. She is a founder of the Visible Evidence conference on documentary, and continues to publish on documentary activism, intellectual property in the internet age, and the history of piracy, and has critiqued the “historical turn” in film and media studies.

Fabien Théofilakis is Professor of History at Paris-1, Sorbonne, and the author of numerous publications on wartime captivity and camps in the Second World War, the Eichmann trial and the memory of the Holocaust.  He is the Alliance Visiting Professor at Columbia in Spring 2024.

Richard F. Wetzell is a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington DC. His research is situated at the intersection of legal history, political history, and the history of science. His publications include Beyond the Racial State: Rethinking Nazi Germany and Crime and Criminal Justice in Modern Germany. He is currently working on a study of racial science and Nazi biopolitics and a history of penal reform in modern Germany.

A. Dirk Moses is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the City College of New York, and written about genocide in global history, including the Holocaust, most recently, The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (2021).

This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Alliance Program, Department of History, and Deutsches Haus Columbia University.