In their annual list of “50 Best Films in the UK,” British newspaper the Guardian has chosen the Hungarian film Son of Saul (Saul Fia) as the second-best film of 2016.
This is just the latest honor for the film, which the Guardian called a “traumatisingly plausible study of the brutalities of a Holocaust death camp, revolving around a Jewish Sonderkommando gas-chamber worker.”
The Hungarian movie beat out the recently-released Sci-fi film Arrival (No. 3 on the list), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant (No. 8), Best Picture Oscar-Winner Spotlight (No. 18), and many other critically acclaimed films to cinch the number two spot.
The Hungarian film, directed by Lászó Nemes, came in second behind Anomalisa, an American stop-motion puppet movie about “a motivational speaker undergoing an identity crisis and his encounter with a fan” that the Guardian called “a masterpiece that inhabits its own spectrum of strangeness.”
In explaining their second-place choice, the Guardian wrote that:
With Son of Saul, Nemes has achieved something genuinely extraordinary; in its ability to approach and apprehend the most ruinous tragedy of our age, he has succeeded where many others have failed – or at least come up short. Shockingly, it was passed over for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, but Son of Saul should go down as one of the best films of the decade.