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  • ABC News UpClose Tim Blake Nelson
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ABC News UpClose Tim Blake Nelson

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Editorial Reviews

Think of the most excruciating moral dilemma of all - kill or be killed - and try translating that to the big screen and you begin to appreciate what Tim Blake Nelson faced in making "The Grey Zone." Jews at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp confronted this choice: whether to collaborate with the Nazis as they exterminated the Jews and save yourself for a few months or be killed instantly. Some choice. Film buffs may know Nelson more as an actor than a director. He played the comic rube in the Coen Brothers' "O Brother. Where Art Thou?" and the creepy warden in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi thriller, "Minority Report." But it's Nelson's family history that has driven him to share the story of the special squad of Jewish prisoner/collaborators, the Sonderkommando, with audiences. Nelson grew up in a Jewish home in Oklahoma, the grandson of refugees who fled Germany on the eve of the Holocaust. He borrowed the phrase, "The Grey Zone" from Primo Levi, the Auschwitz survivor who described in his memoirs the grey zone of moral reasoning the Nazis forced upon the Jews. Correspondent: Dave Marash.

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