FATELESS was a moving film that told the story of the Holocaust through a 14 year old boy’s eyes. It was about a Hungarian Jewish boy that lived at home with his family. One day he over hears his sister saying she doesn’t want to be a Jew. His sister thinks it is a huge disadvantage being a Jew as she feels inferior to other religions/races; but he cannot see why. He is on the train one day when he is ordered by one of the railway workers to get off as he is wearing a badge symbolising he is a Jew. The boy gets off the train alongside many other Jewish boys that were travelling on the train.
The boy doesn’t realise the railway worker is German and he is yet to know the horrific experience that lies before him. He quickly makes friends with all the other Jewish boys and enjoys smoking cigarettes with them and playing games. Soon after though, the boys are taken to a concentration camp where they are made to work under very harsh conditions. I’m sure you’ve seen a concentration camp on TV before and this was just an example of what children (and adults) were made to do. The boy had to work all day carrying heavy bags of building equipment on his back and he was brutally attacked by German soldiers if he spoke.
The boy soon realises why he is there and is angered by the Germans response to Jews, he continues to work all day and night, sleeping in dirty dark places, surviving off drips of water and rations on bread. The concentration camp filled with Jews of all ages, but mainly boys and men are later taken to the U.S.
After months on torture the boy is told he and the others can return back to Hungary, whilst in the USA, the boy meets an American soldier who tells him he should stay in America to study. The boy is in despair and feels weak so ignores the suggestion of the soldier. The boy is later taken back to Hungary where he makes his own way home from the train station. He arrives back home as a physically different person, with shaved hair and bruises. He goes back to the town where he is from and is overwhelmed when he finds his grandparents at home. Finally he is united at the end with his mother who he has dearly missed but doesn’t see his father as he is away working. When the boy arrives back home he reflects on his experience to himself. He says he actually wishes he was back at the concentration camp as he feels life at home is no better than the concentration camp.
I wasn’t really into the film at the beginning but soon got into it. It was quite a good film and was quite sad but had small hints of humour in it. It was also a very long film lasting 2 hours and 20 minutes .The boys acting was brilliant, I would give the film 6/10.
Review by LiveWire Critic, Chloe Daniels (Jul ’06)