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Set in 1944, as Hitlers 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 citys 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
Screenplay Adaptation By Nobel Prize-Winner IMRE KERTÉSZ From His Celebrated First Novel
Original Score By ENNIO MORRICONE 5 Time Academy Award ® Nominee
- "The Making of Fateless featurette
- Interview with Nobel Prize winning author Imre Kertész
- Original trailer
- Trailer Gallery
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There have been many films about the holocaust but none quite as intimate and personal as Hungarian director Lajos Koltai's Fateless. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Howard Schumann
Exceptional story! Great film with outstanding performances!Published 6 months ago by Jackie Conley
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Nazi program to exterminate the Jews was designed to proceed both quickly and slowly. Read more
Except Lanzmann`s SHOA the best film of an history which denies every film-making. The delivery was perfect and the DVD tooPublished on April 23, 2014 by tuvia ruebner
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