Where Was The Zone of Interest Filmed?

Loosely based on the 2014 eponymous novel by Martin Amis, ‘The Zone of Interest’ is a historical drama movie written and helmed by Jonathan Glazer that takes us back to one of the darkest times in humankind’s history. Set during the time of the Holocaust, the plot centers upon Rudolf Höss, the commandment of the Auschwitz concentration camp, who along with his wife Hedwig attempts to build and lead a dream life near the concentration camp.

Featuring brilliant and heartfelt performances from a group of talented actors, including Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Ralph Herforth, Johann Karthaus, and Luis Noah Witte, the period film primarily unfolds in a German-occupied land near a large concentration camp, which makes the viewers curious to know about the actual filming locations of the holocaust-based movie.

The Zone of Interest Filming Locations

‘The Zone of Interest’ was filmed in Poland and Germany, especially in Oświęcim and Jelenia Góra. According to reports, principal photography for the drama movie got underway in June 2021 and continued for the following seven months or so, before getting wrapped up in January 2022. So, allow us to walk you through all the specific sites that served as production locations for the Martin Amis directorial!

Oświęcim, Poland

The city of Oświęcim, which was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, served as the primary production location for ‘The Zone of Interest’ as the filming unit utilized the premise of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, which has now been turned into Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Located at Więźniów Oświęcimia 20 in Oświęcim, the former German Nazi concentration camp consists of the main concentration camp and other remains of the camp, which played the role of additional characters in the movie. Ruled by Nazi Germany, this camp alone saw the death of more than 1.1 million people, out of which 960,000 were Jews.

After gaining permission from the trustees of the site’s museum, the filmmaker and his team set up camp in a vacant property right outside the camp. Referring to old photographs and survivors’ testimonies, the production team recreated the house in which the Höss family resided for four years or so. The Main Market Square of the city also served as a prominent filming site for ‘The Zone of Interest.’ During a conversation with Vogue, Christian Friedel, who portrayed Rudolf Höss, was asked about his experience shooting so close to an actual concentration camp.

Friedel responded, “I felt the responsibility towards the victims every day. And when I visited Auschwitz for the first time and understood the dimension of the crime, I felt the responsibility. It’s so…huge. How is it possible to kill so many people in a short period of time? The organization of Rudolph Höss to perform this incredible crime, to make it more effective—it’s unbelievable and horrible.” Following up, he also explained about the multiple fixed cameras that the director installed in the house to shoot the scenes remotely. He stated that there were ten different cameras “at different angles and no technicians at the set.”

Elaborating further, Friedel added, “The focus puller was sitting in the basement of this house. Jonathan was next to the set in a trailer with 10 monitors. And so the actors would talk about the scene or the situation and say, ‘Let’s figure it out, let’s make a first take’ —and we had all the time in the world. We’d forget where the cameras were. Sometimes we wouldn’t see them. You never want to be boring when you’re shooting a movie. You want to be exciting or share your emotional archive, or—I don’t know. But here we were allowed to be boring. We were allowed to find things out with all the time in the world. It was a luxury situation.”

Jelenia Góra, Poland

The historic city of Jelenia Góra, which is located in southwestern Poland, also hosted the production of ‘The Zone of Interest.’ Several local landmarks and attractions are likely to be featured in the background, such as Jelenia Góra Town Hall, the Feast of the Holy Cross Church, Schaffgotsch’s Palace, and Basilica of St. Erasmus and St. Pancratius.


Reports suggest that additional portions of ‘The Zone of Interest’ were also taped in Germany. Situated in the western region of Central Europe, Germany made for an obvious choice for lensing the historical film due to its direct link to the Holocaust and World War II. Other historical movies shot in Germany are ‘Downfall,’ ‘The Great Escape,’ ‘Conspiracy,’ and ‘All the Light We Cannot See.’

Read More: Is The Zone of Interest Based on a True Story?