Jonathan Glazer’s Full Oscars Speech Condemns ‘Occupation’

Jonathan Glazer accepting the Academy Award for International Feature Film.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

You might have noticed that the Oscars began uncharacteristically late last night, a full six minutes after its scheduled start time, as hundreds of protesters with Film Workers for Palestine and SAG-AFTRA Members for Ceasefire blocked roadways making explicit calls for “No awards amid a genocide.” As protests raged outside, Jonathan Glazer, shaking with conviction, brought his own antiwar sentiments to the 96th Academy Awards, taking his action to the stage with the Best International Feature Film win for his stark Holocaust drama, The Zone of Interest. In his acceptance speech, the director wondered how we can resist “dehumanization,” saying the Academy Award–winning historical drama is just as much a look at “what we do now.” It was the only onstage acknowledgment of what’s happening in Palestine, as most celebrities opted to wear a red pin and let that speak for itself. Shortly after the speech, Glazer was misquoted online, including by Variety, which later corrected a story. The morning after the show, videos of his speech became difficult to find, so we pulled the full speech transcript below.

Thank you so much. I’m gonna read. Thank you to the Academy for this honor and to our partners A24, Film4, Access, and Polish Film Institute; to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum for their trust and guidance; to my producers, actors, collaborators. All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present — not to say, “Look what they did then,” rather, “Look what we do now.” Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present. Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October the — [Applause.] Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist? [Applause.] Aleksandra Bystroń-Kołodziejczyk, the girl who glows in the film, as she did in life, chose to. I dedicate this to her memory and her resistance. Thank you.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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