Holocaust Horrors Seen Through a Boy’s Eyes

November 14, 2008

The realities of the Nazi nightmare are quickly spreading through Budapest, but Hungarians seem to not yet understand the horrific depths of Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” – least of all 14-year-old György Köves.

György, protagonist of the film “Fateless” (“Sorstalanság,” or “Campos de Esperanza” in Spanish), has just seen his father sent to work in a labor camp somewhere far away. When György, too, is shoved into a train to Auschwitz – then to Buchenwald, then Zeits – he quickly learns what this kind of suffering camp is all about.

Director Lajos Koltai’s 2005 film, based on Nobel Prize-winner Imre Kertész’s 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 Holocaust movies do.

A big-budget production for Hungary, “Fateless” almost reaches those other films’ greatness; Koltai treats the dark subject matter artfully without tugging too hard at the tear ducts. One of the film’s most poetic scenes seems choreographed like a modern dance piece: Lineups of stick-thin prisoners, forced to stand still for hours, sway dramatically from fatigue like a wheat field in the breeze. Some of them repeat the Mourner’s Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead, over and over.

Most descriptions of the movie say György, played by Marcell Nagy, comes of age in the concentration camps, seeing terror through young eyes that become a man’s. However, as the world crumbles and his body emaciates, this boy’s eyes and bones seem to become ancient and, despite a crippling leg injury, hauntingly numb.

“Fateless” is now playing in Costa Rican theaters in Hungarian with Spanish subtitles.

 

You may be interested

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
1606 views
Weather
1606 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2263 views
Environment and Wildlife
2263 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula
Cruises
1995 views
Cruises
1995 views

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula

The Tico Times - December 8, 2017

National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions touched down for the first time on Costa Rica's renowned Osa Peninsula this week for…