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Fateless (2005)

Cast: Marcell Nagy, Aron Dimeny, Andras M. Kecskes, more...
Director: Lajos Koltai
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Velocity / ThinkFilm
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, War, WWII, Eastern Europe
Running Time: 140 min.
Languages: German, Hungarian
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

One young man's devastating voyage through the Holocaust sets the stage for this powerful drama. Gyorgy "Gyurka" Koves (Marcell Nagy) is a 14-year-old Jewish boy living in Hungary when the Nazi pogroms begin sweeping through the country. Gyura's father (Janos Ban) has his business taken away from him not long before he's taken away to a concentration camp, and as he's led away, Gyura agrees to his father's request to look after his stepmother while he's gone. However, Gyurka takes a bus rather than the train to work the following morning, believing it to be safer, but before it can reach its destination, police stop the vehicle and take the Jewish passengers into custody. Gyurka is sent to Auschwitz, but is later transferred to Buchenwald, and finally to Zeitz; at each stop the teenager is witness to greater and greater horrors, as different varieties of torture and violence are introduced with each passing day, until his emotions begin to wear away. When American troops finally liberate Zeitz, Gyurka has been shocked into a placid serenity, and when he returns to the wreckage that is Budapest, his ravaged body and ghostly calm go mostly overlooked by the other survivors attempting to rebuild. Sorstalansag (aka Fateless) was adapted from a novel by Imre Kertesz, a Nobel Prize-winning author who is himself a survivor of the Nazi death camps. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

THE Holocaust Film by talltale May 10, 2006 - 4:11 PM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Hands down the most beautiful holocaust story I've seen (beauty in terms of cinematography, composition, lighting, colors, set design and all the rest; but not, of course, the story), FATELESS is some kind of masterpiece. Even if you have seen so much--too much--of this subject, you will not have seen it like this. It's a long film, 2 hours 20 minutes, yet it is difficult to take your eyes away from the screen, so quietly stunning is each frame.

If this sounds somehow wrong--sentimentalizing, glamorizing a horrendous event--the end result is nothing like that. Instead, everything works toward one of the most eye-opening, thought-provoking endings of any Holocaust film I can recall. I played back the last few minutes over and over, hanging on the words, first wondering at them, then believing and agreeing. Nothing is too unimaginable to bear. Happiness--bits of it, at least--can be found anywhere. And surviving depends on so many variables, some within our control, many without. "Fateless" is the relevant holocaust movie, the one to show your children and talk about, think about, afterwards.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.18)
11 Votes
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