The true story of Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jew chosen by Josef Mengele to be the head pathologist at Auschwitz. Nyiszli was one of Auschwitz’s Sonderkommandos – Special Squads of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating moral dilemma of helping to exterminate fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. Together, the Sonderkommandos struggled to organize the only armed revolt that would ever take place at Auschwitz. As the rebellion is about to commence, a group from the unit discovers a 14-year-old girl who has miraculously survived a gassing. A catalyst for their desperate attempt at personal redemption, the men become obsessed with saving this one child, even if doing so endangers the uprising which could save thousands. To what terrible lengths are we willing to go to save our own lives, and what in turn would we sacrifice to save the lives of others? —IMDb
Tim Blake Nelson (born May 11, 1964) is an American director, writer, singer, and actor.
Nelson has appeared as an actor in the film, TV and theatre. He had a featured role as Delmar in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?. According to directors Joel and Ethan Coen, he was the only one in the cast or crew who had read Homer’s Odyssey, a work upon which the film is loosely based.
He has directed film versions of his plays The Grey Zone, and Eye of God as well as writing and directing two original screenplays: 1998’s Kansas, and Leaves of Grass which was released in 2009. He is also the director of O, based on William Shakespeare’s play Othello but set in a modern-day high school. He is on the Board of Directors for The Actors Center in New York City, as well as Soho Rep Theatre. —Wikipedia
While it could have possibly been greater in the hands of a more seasoned and capable director (it feels oddly stagey and not all that cinematic), Nelson's film is still powerful. There are a lot of elements that don't work, but the final product still manages to curiously stay with you. The message at the film's end crystallizes everything that preceded it, and packs a surprising punch.