San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Haunting Hungarian Holocaust film opens in San José

The realities of the Nazi nightmare are quickly spreading through Budapest. Jews wear yellow stars and some of their family members are disappearing. But the Hungarians seem to not yet know the horrific depths of Adolf Hitler´s “final solution” – least of all 14-year-old György Köves.

For Köves, the protagonist of the film “Sorstalanság” (“Fateless,” “Campos de Esperanza” in Spanish), Dad has just been sent to work in a labor camp somewhere far away. When Köves, too, is shoved into a train to Auschwitz – then to Buchenwald, then Zeits – the teenager quickly learns what this kind of camp is all about.

Director Lajos Koltai´s 2005 film, based on the Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész semi-autobiographical novel, falls somewhere between the tear-jerking darkness of “Schindler´s List” and the almost unbearable lightness of “Life Is Beautiful.” But, make no mistake: “Fateless” will drain you, as most Holocaust movies do.

“Campos de Esperanza,” in Hungarian with Spanish subtitles, premieres tomorrow at Cine Magaly in San José.

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