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Fateless | 2005 | R | - 5.6.5

Based on Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz's 1975 semi-autobiographical novel "Sorstalansag," about the fate of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust: A 14-year-old Jewish boy from Budapest sees his world and his affluent family disintegrate, and he eventually finds himself in a labor camp. With Marcell Nagy, Aron Dimeny, Andras M. Kecskes, Jozsef Gyabronka, Endre Harkanyi and Daniel Craig. Directed by Lajos Koltai. In Hungarian and German with English subtitles. [2:14]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Many dead nude male bodies are piled onto a cart and bare buttocks, genitals and chests are shown. We see a truck piled with sick and injured men and boys (several are nude and bare buttocks, chests and hips are visible).
 A boy sits in a bathtub filled with water (his shoulders are visible). Men are bare-chested while bathing and cleaning themselves in a couple of scenes. Men remove their shirts and are bare-chested while they work.
 A man kisses a woman's hand. A boy puts his arm around a girl's neck and she pushes it away.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - Many dead men are piled onto "corpse carriers" and wheeled to where they will be burned.
 A doctor looks at a boy's knee (it is very swollen and red) and he says that he has to open it up and that it will hurt (we see the boy later and maggots crawl on the wound).
 A boy looks very ill and asks for water and cigarettes; he then falls asleep and does not wake up. A boy walks through wind and rain, he collapses, others try to pick him up, and they see that his knee is very swollen and he complains of pain.
 Three men are shown being prepared for hanging after they have tried to escape (ropes hang from a scaffold and they line up under them).
 Many people are forced to stand for a long period of time, we see a man collapse and others begin to sway, and one man is dragged and dropped into a puddle (he does not move and may be dead). People are huddled together on train cars (in freight trains), snow and soot blows on them and it seems as if they travel for days (we watch as the people become weaker).
 Several men attack a man and hold him, accusing him of being an SS guard. A man slaps a boy in the face, and the boy falls to the ground with a bloody nose. A man hits a man in the face for not shaving. A man has a bloody mouth and talks about having been beaten. A man is thrown to the ground. A man and a boy struggle over a bowl of soup.
 People show signs of malnutrition, dehydration and suffer from illnesses brought on by maltreatment, as well as filthy conditions. A boy has torn blisters on his hands from shoveling and sores on his back. A very sick and weak boy sits on a floor and showers spray water on him.
 People are awakened by clanging and yelling. Many people sleep huddled together under crumbling arches and walls. Men and boys are forced to carry heavy sacks (one man collapses from fatigue). We see a truck piled with sick and injured people.
 Many people are forced to walk through streets by police and other people look at them with disdain. Many boys and men are forced to get off buses and wait in an identity checkpoint (the boys are unsure of what is happening to them).
 People are separated into groups: some are going to labor camps and others to extermination camps. People are forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing at all times to identify themselves as being Jewish.
 A boy cries while watching a man eat. A man tries to negotiate with a guard for water, and the guard yells at him. A boy is forced to empty his pockets and a guard keeps what he wants of the contents.
 Several elderly people are distraught when a man prepares to give away his possessions and his business and go to a labor camp. We see crematorium chimneys spewing flames into the sky.
 A man says that he saw his brother shot dead. A man tells a boy that he has lice.


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LANGUAGE 5 - 2 F-words, 3 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 10 mild obscenities, 5 derogatory terms for Jewish people, 2 derogatory terms for homosexuals, name-calling (swine, stupid).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A boy smokes cigarettes in many scenes, and men smoke cigarettes in several scenes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Holocaust, racism, concentration camps, death camps, fear, trust, labels, despair, separation of families, parents being separated from their children, freedom, hate, hope, prayer, war, loneliness, opportunity, hate, future, disbelief, mass execution, fate, persecution, divorce, self-esteem, ill-gotten gains, pride, shame, religion, forced labor.

MESSAGE - One can sometimes find something positive in even during the most unthinkable times and most arduous circumstances; that seems to be the only way to survive.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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