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Fateless


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Product Details

  • Actors: Marcell Nagy, Béla Dóra, Bálint Péntek, Áron Dimény, Péter Fancsikai
  • Directors: Lajos Koltai
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Hungarian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQ5Q2W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,840 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fateless" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "The Making of Fateless featurette
  • Interview with Nobel Prize winning author Imre Kertész
  • Original trailer
  • Trailer Gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Don’t miss this unforgettable story of a child who had the courage to come home.

Set in 1944, as Hitler’s Final Solution becomes policy throughout Europe, Fateless is the semi-autobiographical tale of a 14 year-old Jewish boy from Budapest, who finds himself swept up by cataclysmic events beyond his comprehension. A perfectly normal metropolitan teen who has never felt particularly connected to his religion, he is suddenly separated from his family as part of the rushed and random deportation of his city’s large Jewish population. Brought to a concentration camp, his existence becomes a surreal adventure in adversity and adaptation, and he is never quite sure if he is the victim of his captors, or of an absurd destiny that metes out salvation and suffering arbitrarily. When he returns home after the liberation, he missed the sense of community he experienced in the camps, feeling alienated from both his Christian neighbors who turned a blind eye to his fate, and the Jewish family friends who avoided deportation and who now want to put the war behind them.

From the Contributor

Directed By LAJOS KOLTAI Academy Award ® Nominee (Just Cause, Home for the Holidays, Mother, Out to Sea)
Screenplay Adaptation By Nobel Prize-Winner IMRE KERTÉSZ From His Celebrated First Novel
Original Score By ENNIO MORRICONE 5 Time Academy Award ® Nominee

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 36 customer reviews
One of the best movies I have seen, I think.
Fabiano Fabris
This is a journey into the life of a young boy and is daily life....experience how the Holocaust could happen right in front of your eyes.
L2
The film is an impeccably crafted work of visual art, and it is its imagery that most moved me.
J. Guzman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Guzman on May 17, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watching a film depicting the dehumanizing harshness and brutality of a concentration camp, viewers likely do not expect to find beauty. I have watched this film twice now, and it is its beauty, not its grim, often bleak story line, that seems to have made its first...and lasting...impression on me.

The director and cinematographer chose to film Fateless not in black and white, as Schindler's List was done, but in almost colorless tones washed over with sepia and grey, which give the film the appearance of very early photography, the kind your grandparents and great grandparents might have appeared in. And, just when you think you're watching a black and white film, small hints of real color appear, almost the way real colors sometimes show briefly in departing dreams. The film is an impeccably crafted work of visual art, and it is its imagery that most moved me.

There are three moments of unexpected beauty that for me were most memorable. The first is a sequence showing prisoners forced to stand at attention, knowing that should they fall they will be punished or put to death. Dressed in their striped uniforms and standing in lines, as the impact of the fear drains their weakened bodies, they begin to shake and to sway. And, the movement is accompanied by the mournful singing of what could be a hymn, richly done by a single female voice. As the camera pans over them, it is almost as though they are one with the music, and the effect is gut-wrenching.

The second is a sequence in which the boy makes his way through a downpour in the mud toward a goal which remains ambiguous.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on May 22, 2006
Format: DVD
I recall reading Victor Frankl's MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING in college. If I'm not mistaken, I believe I read it for a number of different courses. It seemed to be required in history classes, philosophy and theology classes, and even an introductory class in psychology. Frankl's belief that the human spirit can triumph over the most overwhelming odds is a modern classic. As I watched FATELESS, I was reminded of this book, especially when an older prisoner took an interest in the young Gyorgy Koves (played by Marcell Nagy), the film's main character. Yet while the triumph of the human spirit over adversity can be found in this film, it's hardly a feel good flick. If anything, it's one of those films that will haunt and challenge viewers long after watching it.

The film itself is based on Irme Kertesz's novel which tells the story of a community of Hungarian Jews near the end of World War II. In scenes that would be familiar to those who have read Elie Wiesel's NIGHT, the Jews of Budapest believed they'd be spared, or at least would not face the horrors that those who went to the camps earlier had to endure. Many discovered that this was hardly the case as people from Budapest began to be deported. We see the horrors of the camps as one would expect from such a film. We see the ways in which many prisoners took advantage of the situation while others tried to do their best to make sure as many people as possible survived. The camp is finally liberated and against the advice of the American liberators, Gyorgy returns home and it is then that we see how much the war and suffering changed this once effervescent young teen into someone who knew the truth about life.

There are a number of reasons this film has such power.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 3, 2006
Format: DVD
'Sorstalansag' (FATELESS) is an inordinately powerful, quiet journey through a year in Nazi Concentration Camps at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Zeitz. Adapted by Imre Kertesz from his first novel, the story is semi-autobiographical as Kertesz spent a year of his youth in Auschwitz as a Hungarian Jew. Though Kertesz alters his novel of the life of one Gyorgy Koves, in a manner he carefully explains in one of the featurettes accompanying this DVD, the observational skills and tenor of his literate mind suffuse this surprisingly quiet depiction of life in a death camp.

We first meet Gyorgy Koves as a curly headed handsome 14-year old youth in 1944 bidding farewell to his beloved father as he departs for a labor camp. Wearing the yellow star of David proudly, Gyorgy has little understanding of what it is to be a Jew, a lesson he will learn in the coming year and affect his perception of the world and his place in it. Gyorgy's mother left his father and his father has remarried and requests that Gyorgy stay with his stepmother while he is away 'for a while' in the labor camp. Gyorgy is conflicted as he loves his mother but he does as his father requests. Almost inadvertently Gyorgy and his friends are taken off a bus and separated by the Nazis into trains bound for concentration camps. Gyorgy remains relatively naive about what is happening: his head is shaved, his worldly goods are absconded, and he begins the hellish life of survival in Auschwitz. Where Kertesz writes differently than other authors who have described Holocaust conditions is in his mindset of Gyorgy: Gyorgy strives to retain a sense of equilibrium in this bizarre new life, seeing certain events as probable errors, mistakes, or simply 'the way things are'.
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