thinkfilm | Release Date: January 6, 2006
7.6
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Generally favorable reviews based on 34 Ratings
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26
Mixed:
2
Negative:
6
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1
RobertT.Sep 17, 2007
Pretentious shooting, struggling actors, unbearable.
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9
VeronicaM.May 12, 2006
A very powerful and compelling experience. Some very shocking images are so beautifully photographed that the contrasts are all the more striking. Far better than the overpraised 'The Pianist' and more mature and honest than A very powerful and compelling experience. Some very shocking images are so beautifully photographed that the contrasts are all the more striking. Far better than the overpraised 'The Pianist' and more mature and honest than 'Schindler's List.' Expand
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7
MaximusJun 20, 2006
Thouse reviewer's who gives movie, any movie rating 100 should be fired. There is no perfect movie and there will never be as this is not a perfect movie.
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10
AlishaT,Feb 3, 2007
The cinematography was amazing. This movie moved me beyond words. Seeing atrocities being carried out in a concentration camp through the eyes of a young boy in his teens made me weep. Its an intense tale of survival through unimaginable situations.
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10
BenK.Jan 30, 2006
What separates this film from many other fine films about the Holocaust is treatment of the aftermath of war. Clearly what Gyuri experiences in the concentration camps are unfathomable to most and when the film shows this newfound distance What separates this film from many other fine films about the Holocaust is treatment of the aftermath of war. Clearly what Gyuri experiences in the concentration camps are unfathomable to most and when the film shows this newfound distance it is unbearably poignant. Gyuri attempts to find meaning in his experience and his attempts to find meaning are what will make the film controversial as some will misinterpret these attempts as somehow a defense of the holocaust which it most clearly is not. This is a moving and important film which deserves to be seen by wide audience. Expand
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7
PaulW.Jan 8, 2006
Yes this is a heavy subject (holocaust)..but very moving and very well acted none the less.
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10
MelissaHOct 1, 2006
This was such an amazing movie both in its harsh and realistic depiction of the holocaust but also the beauty in the filming...one of the best movies I have seen in a long, long time
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10
justins.Dec 20, 2006
The cinematography is incredible. Just a really moving and haunting movie, one you truly won't forget. The ending was amazing; I won't give it away, but Nagy says something that totally changes your perception of what happened to The cinematography is incredible. Just a really moving and haunting movie, one you truly won't forget. The ending was amazing; I won't give it away, but Nagy says something that totally changes your perception of what happened to him. Terrific acting by him. This movie should be a strong contender for best foreign film, if not best film. Expand
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10
StephenC.Feb 4, 2006
The film is "Neo-Classic" in structure and style; by that I mean the characters are developed as "types," or "essences" or "summations" of characters, much like the morality play characters of earlier Medieval times and like the French and The film is "Neo-Classic" in structure and style; by that I mean the characters are developed as "types," or "essences" or "summations" of characters, much like the morality play characters of earlier Medieval times and like the French and English neo-classic periods. That is done because of the particular style of the book - the film not only speaks for the Nazi destruction of the Jew (Holocuast) for in a symbolic way, the destruction of other peoples. There is almost an "impersonal," non-realism of an event that happens simply because their might be a malevolent, Schaupernhauerian force in the unverse that exacts a terrible fate, for no particular reason and then passes on - therefore you get a collapesed sense of time: it comes, it takes place (most of the screen time takes place in this middle period) and it passes. This is also a very secular pt. of view - shot from the boy's experience - he is young and therefore does not have enough knowledge to see the evil of what it happening as anything but simply evil, not necessarily made by a particular people at a particular time and for particular reaons - even though Hungarians and Germans and Gypsies are all taken to task; there is almost a kind of beauty and respite in the experience that the boy comes to enjoy - that one way or the other this will happen to everyone in life. I do not agree with the point of view; I believe people are responsible for their acts and must be called to judgment - but I can see the virtues of telling the story that way. I will never, ever forget the shots of those Jews standing in line, the one man swaying till someone else falls; that lone sequence destroyed me and I have hard time speaking about it, writring about it without tears welling up from deep inside. And the camera work is simply not doable by an American director or cinematographer. The major point for me, however, is the artistry, the complexity, the vision and the justice that is done on the part of the storyteller as compared to the sophomoric approach of Spielberg and Kushner. Expand
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10
DanF.Feb 6, 2006
For those put off somewhat by the sentimentality and over-arching sense of "watching" in Schindler's List, or who find The Pianist a good movie but studiously NOT about the camps, this movie is anodyne, in every meaningful sense. This For those put off somewhat by the sentimentality and over-arching sense of "watching" in Schindler's List, or who find The Pianist a good movie but studiously NOT about the camps, this movie is anodyne, in every meaningful sense. This movie is about the camps - not about avoiding them, about saving people from them - it is about being in the camps. I think that is what is keeping this film from getting awards. It doesn't prove anything, it doesn't pat anyone on the back. It just is. Bravo. Expand
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10
subratok.May 12, 2006
These movie make me to cry and to feel. it is the best movie i ever seen. really a beautiful work by Lajos Kotlai and THe actor Marcell Nagy.
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10
JulieM.Jun 23, 2006
Very beautiful cinematically as well as poetic and tasteful. Marcell Nagy was the perfect actor for the role and his portrayal will haunt me for a long time. I haven't seen a movie so well filmed in a very long time.
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9
ChadS.Jun 5, 2006
Nobody gets shot in the head, but a guard's slap in the face of our protagonist, curiously, had a stronger effect on me than anything in "Schindler's List". A dead person no longer feels humiliated and dehumanized. "Fateless" is a Nobody gets shot in the head, but a guard's slap in the face of our protagonist, curiously, had a stronger effect on me than anything in "Schindler's List". A dead person no longer feels humiliated and dehumanized. "Fateless" is a film for people who process the holocaust as nothing less than catastrophic. There's nothing in this film for Nazi sympathizers to hi-five each other. There's just corpses. "Fateless" provides no vicarious thrills for the sociopath. "The Grey Zone", great as it was, might've gone too far. "Fateless" merely suggests the violence. Expand
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0
JenneyL.Jun 9, 2006
I dont know where all these high points are coming from. I just saw it on pay per view only because of these reviews. You guys suck for leading me so wrong. If you havent seen it, dont waste you time
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10
howard16Jan 20, 2019
There have been many films about the Holocaust but none quite as intimate and personal as Hungarian director Lajos Koltai's Fateless. Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz, Fateless is a hauntinglyThere have been many films about the Holocaust but none quite as intimate and personal as Hungarian director Lajos Koltai's Fateless. Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz, Fateless is a hauntingly beautiful film whose narrative unfolds in the form of miniature vignettes rather than peak dramatic moments. The film is seen from the perspective of 14-year-old Gyuri Koves (Marcell Nagy), who spent a year in Buchenwald during the last days of World War II and who provides the narration. Unlike most films about the holocaust, it stipulates that happiness and beauty can co-exist along with deprivation and despair. Marcell Nagy is outstanding as Gyuri, the young man who moves from a childlike innocence to world-weariness in the span of one year. With his soulful face and expressive eyes, he is almost a detached observer, quietly pondering his fate. He is, in the Sufi saying, in the world, but not of it and the film unfolds as in a lucid dream that blurs the lines between appearance and reality. Koltai captures this almost matter-of-fact quality as Gyuri says goodbye to his father (Janos Ban) who has been ordered to work in a Nazi labor camp. Because Hungarians did not feel the full brunt of Nazi persecution until the Nazi takeover in 1944, Gyuri thinks his father is just going to have to work hard and that nothing will happen to him. Neighbors and relatives who reassure him that everything will be all right do not further his grasp of reality.

When the boy and his friends are detained on a bus on the way to work, he learns quickly that "his carefree childhood days are now over". Still not comprehending the magnitude of what is taking place, he is annoyed but not frightened and does not seize the opportunity to escape offered by a friendly cop. Even when he arrives at Auschwitz, he sits on the ground shaven and wearing a striped uniform, talking with friends as if he was in a school playground during recess. When Gyuri discovers that "he could be killed at any time, anywhere,” he attains a sort of spiritual freedom and his determination to survive is increased. Pretending to be sixteen, Gyuri escapes the gas chamber and is sent to Buchenwald and then to a smaller camp. The scenes of murder, death, and dying at the camps are thankfully left to the imagination and the film focuses on Gyuri's personal reactions to what he sees around him. Koltai, a cinematographer for twenty-five years, creates a visual cinematic poem in which his color palette is so muted that we experience the mud and the atmosphere of cold and gray almost viscerally. Sadly, we watch Gyuri's transformation from the confident teenager we saw at the beginning to an emaciated number, his leg so swollen and infected that he can barely walk. In voiceover, however, he talks about the hours between work and the evening meal as one of quiet reflection and about the joy in discovering a piece of meat or potato in his soup. He is also sustained by a friend he develops in fellow Hungarian Bandi Citrom (Aron Dimeny) who protects him and tries to teach him the skills of survival. Bandi, ever the optimist, proclaims, "I will walk down Nefelejcs Street again"

One of the surprises in the film is the treatment Gyuri receives at what looks like a camp hospital. He is cleaned, allowed to sleep alone in a bed and taken care of, a set of circumstances not usually associated with extermination camps, yet based on Kertesz' actual experience. The most discussed aspect of the film, however, takes place in Budapest after the liberation. Gyuri feels more alone than he did at Buchenwald and even expresses a sort of homesickness for the camaraderie he felt at the camp. Friends and neighbors who were not in the camps cannot understand what it was truly like and Gyuri cannot explain it. Even if he could, no one really wants to hear anything that rattles their preconceptions. He rebels at playing the role of the victim and says, "there is nothing too unimaginable to endure". When asked about the atrocities, he talks of his happiness. "The next time I am asked", he says, "I ought to speak about that, the happiness of the concentration camp. If indeed I am asked. And provided I myself don't forget". His "happiness", according to Kertesz, who also wrote the screenplay, is not a form of denial but an act of rebellion against those who do not see him any longer as a human being, only as a victim. It was a way of assuring his responsibility, of defining his own fate rather than having others decide it for him. For me, it also added a portal into the sublime.

GRADE: A
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