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Fateless [2005] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Marcell Nagy, Daniel Craig, Bela Dora, Aron Dimeny, Endre Harkanyi
  • Directors: Lajos Koltai
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Dogwoof
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FII180
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,229 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

You can close your eyes. You can turn away. But you will never forget.

A historical drama based on Nobel Laureate Imre Kertesz's novel about a Hungarian Jewish boy’s experience of the Holocaust.

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

Fateless is a deeply moving tale of a Hungarian Jewish boy and his quest for the meaning of his past. A prestigious edition to the Holocaust canon that includes Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Polanski’s The Pianist.

Review

4 Stars. ‘An extremely powerful film’ ‘outstanding’ Film of the Week -- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian,

5 Stars, Critic’s choice -- Time Out

FILM OF THE WEEK ‘Fateless is remarkable, vivid, shattering, emotionally and intellectually engaging.’ -- Philip French, The Observer

‘as imposing as Spielberg’s Schindler’s list and Polanski’s The Pianist.’4 stars, Critics Choice -- Derek Malcolm, Evening Standard

‘utterly extraordinary’ 4 Stars -- James Christopher, The Times

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on 28 Feb. 2009
Format: DVD
I watched this film at the invitation of a Hungarian Jewish friend who went through a very similar experience. It is a well produced, very moving, but not a hard to watch film. We are not exposed to new and horrific atrocities but we are shown the juxtaposition of normal people living normal lives thrown into the systematically created brutality of labour camps with cold, starvation, bullying, disease and death while other normal people look on. Also depicted is the huge redemption of small acts of kindess and humanity amidst the suffering.

My friend's comment:

"The film is accurate. That is exactly how it was."

Reason enough to watch it, I think.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bill Hunt on 20 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
Lajos Koltai's harrowing film Fateless (Sorstalanság) is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same title by the Nobel Prize winning author Imre Kertész, who also wrote the screenplay. It is set in 1944, as Hitler's Final Solution becomes policy throughout Europe.

The film follows the fate of 14 year-old György Köves from Budapest, who finds himself swept up by cataclysmic events beyond his comprehension; experiencing first Auschwitz, followed by Buchenwald and Zeitz concentration camps before returning to a very different home from the one he left behind.

Fateless cleverly explores the contrasts of the unity and brotherhood that developed between inmates of the camps with the sense of alienation that many experienced upon returning home when the war was over.

The film features many poignant scenes that, for me, sets it apart from other Holocaust films. One hypnotic example is a grueling roll call that has the prisoners stood outside for hours on end.

Lajos Koltai: "Kertesz has a phrase in the book about them standing there `like wind blowing through a forest'. I wanted these scenes because the difficult thing in the camp was not being beaten up or physically tortured, but the time spent in this place. I had to realise this by using effects of music [by Ennio Morricone] and movement. I met a Hungarian dancer who specialises in showing the movements of the suffering or dying and I prepared a kind of realistic choreography with him. Morricone composed an `anthem of solitude' for the sequence."

Inevitably perhaps, the film has been compared to Schindler's List, but in its favour, it lacks the melodrama. It also lacks the sentimental Hollywood schmaltz of Life is Beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By technoguy VINE VOICE on 24 May 2009
Format: DVD
This is a grim subject but a remarkable translation to sceenplay and film of a great novel. I read the novel and I thought this was a moving treatment.This is not about watching a victim.This is about a child so fully immersed in this world that he has moments of boredom or happiness or lucidity.There is a fully worked out philosophy of survival and therefore a contempt for those people beyond the laager who sensationalise it.This young man is displaced on leaving the several camps he passes through.He senses peoples disapproval or attempts to keep him at a distance in the outside world.The young actor's performance is remarkable.Imre Kertez was not happy with the Ist screenwriter's attempts at story telling through the use of flash-back so he took this job on himself.He wanted the viewer to soberly witness the horrors at hand and keep our humanity.You realize how wrong Schindler's List is and how wrong it is to write /film a subject that requires great sensitivity and inner steel.Surprised it was not more favourably reviewed.This knocks The Reader into a cocked hat.No flashbacks.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Richard Bowden on 20 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
Critics have compared Fateless to such other award winning films around the same subject, notably Robert Benigni's Life Is Beautiful (aka: La Vita è Bella, 1997), and Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993). Whilst in interview on the UK DVD the director Koltai doesn't mention Benigni's comedy of doom, he does in passing cite the Spielberg, to which he makes it clear that Fateless is in some degree at least, a riposte. For the director, Schindler's List is "a mistake for those who know what really happened" is his view, which represents "no victory for humanity."

The determined un-sentimentality of Koltai's film reflects that view, something which he goes as far as to transpose formally into a particular editing technique - an approach that audiences, more used to a cosy and somewhat predictable view of the Holocaust, will find striking. Koltai's treatment of narrative in his film, characteristically breaking down stark events into short, impressive scenes that fade to black, he terms "a series of études." Such a treatment serves to isolate the protagonists in time, away from the emotionality that a more connected continuity encourages. Indeed for Koltai "time is the... terrible... sentence," and the main motive behind his film, rather than outright shock, and his film has great power precisely through this denial of the usual response.

An easy criticism of Fateless is that conditions of the camp are shown as persistently harrowing, but rarely explicitly violent. The hero Köves is starved, slapped and humiliated, but rarely does the viewer see an on-screen killing, even if the stench of the crematoria is omnipresent.
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