Screenshot from the trailer

The Commandant’s Shadow Explores the Story that Inspired The Zone of Interest

Doc opens in theatres May 29 & 30

2 mins read

“Do you think something like the Holocaust could happen again?” Daniela Völker asks an interviewee in The Commandant’s Shadow.

“I mean, look at the world now,” she replies.

The Commandant’s Shadow revisits the horrors of the Holocaust by exploring the true story that inspired the Academy Award winning drama The Zone of Interest. Warner Bros. Canada released the trailer for the documentary today ahead of its theatrical screenings later this month. Directed by Völker, the film tells the story of Hans Jürgen Höss, the 87-year-old son of Rudolf Höss, who was Camp Commandant of Auschwitz. Rudolph Höss was responsible for the murder of over one million Jewish people in Auschwitz. His bureaucratic and systemic design of the Nazi death camp was recently dramatized in Jonathan Glazer’s film with actor Christian Friedel in the role. The Zone of Interest won Oscars for Best International Feature and Best Sound, and was nominated for Best Picture.

While Glazer’s film explores the banality of evil in the Höss household, which merely a wall separating the children from the violence of Auschwitz, The Command’s Shadow explores life on both sides of the wall. Völker observes Hans as he reckons with his father’s past, but also gets the perspective of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a former Jewish prisoner who miraculously survived the camp. The film brings the two together in the ultimate quest for reconciliation with echoes of the contemporary search for peace.

Völker’s previous credits as director include the documentary series Citizens at War: A Year in Ukraine and Vendetta: Guerra nell’antimafia. Volker also serves as producer with Gloria Abramoff.  The Commandant’s Shadow screens in theatres on May 29 and 30.



Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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