‘The Commandant’s Shadow’ Trailer: The Descendants of the Real ‘Zone of Interest’ Family Grapple with History

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The true story of the haunting legacy of the Höss family is revealed in documentary “The Commandant’s Shadow.”

The Höss clan was fictionally captured in Jonathan Glazer’s Academy Award-winning “The Zone of Interest.” Now, the family that inspired the disturbing saga is followed in a Warner Bros. Pictures and HBO Documentary Films feature written, produced, and directed by Daniela Völker.

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“The Commandant’s Shadow” follows Hans Jürgen Höss, the 87-year-old son of Rudolf Höss, as he faces his father’s terrible legacy for the first time. His father was the Camp Commandant of Auschwitz and masterminded the murder of over a million Jews. The documentary centers on two stories, one of Auschwitz survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and another of Höss recalling his own childhood in the family villa at Auschwitz. The two meet 80 years later, marking the “first time the descendant of a major war criminal meets a survivor in such a private and intimate setting, Anita’s London living room,” per the official synopsis. Together with their children, Kai Höss and Maya Lasker-Wallfisch, the four protagonists explore their very different hereditary burdens.

“The Commandant’s Shadow” includes original excerpts of Rudolf Höss’ autobiography, written shortly before his execution.

Christian Friedel portrayed Rudolf Höss in “The Zone of Interest,” with Sandra Hüller portraying his wife Hedwig.

The film is produced by Gloria Abramoff, with Wendy Robbins, Neil Blair, Jonathan Blair, Matti Leshem, Joel Greenberg, Len Blavatnik, Danny Cohen, Sajan Raj Kurup, Jani Guest, and Jamie Jessop serving as executive producers. Writer/director Völker’s creative team includes directors of photography Rob Goldie and Piotr Trela, editor Claire Guillon, and music composer Gabriel Chwojnik.

A press statement courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures stated: “In the wake of the atrocities of October 7th – and at a time when antisemitism has reached a level not seen since the Holocaust – ‘The Commandant’s Shadow’ is a stark reminder that there can be no reconciliation without a true and honest reckoning of the past. Only then can we hope to avoid repeating history and build a better future.”

“The Commandment’s Shadow” premieres May 29 and 30 in theaters. Check out the trailer below.

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