The Zone Of Interest producer: Gaza conflict reminds us of ‘selective empathy’

The Zone Of Interest producer James Wilson has said what is “going on in the world, in Gaza” reminds people of “selective empathy”.

Wilson spoke to the PA news agency on the Baftas red carpet about whether the film about the Holocaust had produced a conversation about war and violence today.

“There’s obviously things going on in the world, in Gaza, that remind us starkly of the sort of selective empathy, that there seems to be groups of innocent people being killed that we care about less than other innocent people.

“And that seems so clear.

“Frankly, actually, because we get asked about that a lot, I think that’s always happened.

“In the nine years that we were making the film, things kept happening like that, you know, whether it was… the migrant crisis in 2016 when refugees were coming from north Africa and Syria and bodies washing up on beaches.

76th Cannes Film Festival
James Wilson, Sandra Huller, Jonathan Glazer, Christian Friedel, and Ewa Puszczynska, attending the Zone of Interest premiere (Doug Peters/PA)

When asked about how current events echo this film, the actor who plays Nazi SS officer Rudolf Hoss in the film also said “we have to learn from the past, but sometimes I have the feeling, it’s so difficult to learn from the past”.

“Your ears and your eyes have to be open in this time,” he also told PA.

76th Cannes Film Festival
(from left) James Wilson, Sandra Huller, Jonathan Glazer, Christian Friedel, and Ewa Puszczynska (Doug Peters/PA)

“The shooting was so close to the original to the camps, and every day you felt the responsibility towards the victims and to be honest, I can’t understand these characters, ‘how can you live? How can you go to work every day kill millions of people go home and say, I love you and I love the kids?’”

The film is nominated for multiple Baftas including outstanding British film.

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