Fateless (Sorstalansag)

This unique and devastating look at the Holocaust is drawn from the autobiographical novel of 2002 Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz. Marcell Nagy is vividly moving as Gyuri, a fourteen-year-old Jew living in Budapest in 1944 when the Nazi occupiers send him to the death camps. Devoid of the mawkish manipulation of Life Is Beautiful, Fateless is potently directed by Lajos Koltai from a nuanced script by Kertesz himself. Without flinching from the terrors of the camps, Koltai — a former cinematographer — gives the film a grave allure. Instead of being strange, the lyricism of the images ties in with Gyuri's unexpected nostalgia for the bonds he formed in the camps. Liberated by the Americans, Gyuri is told to forget and move on. It's the memories that Kertesz knows he can never shut out that make Fateless indelibly haunting.

From The Archives Issue 109: May 25, 1972