Friday, May 14, 2010


Lajos Koltai, Hungary-Germany-UK, 2005 (8.2*)
Based on the true story of 14-yr old Hungarian Jew Gyorgy, played by Marcell Nagy, who was sent first to Auschwitz then Buchenwald by the Nazis. Beautifully shot in b&w, from a novel by Nobel-winning author Imre Kertész. At the time he's coming of age, for a normal teen, Gyorgy is having to both learn to survive and also to learn what it means to be Jewish and persevere centuries of persecution.

Certainly not a pleasant story, but still an inspiring one. Nagy is excellent in the title role, aided by production being shut down for awhile to find new investors, giving the young actor the appearance of being severely aged by the travails of the concentration camps. This is an overlooked holocaust film, and Jewish Heritage Month is a good time to view this one if you haven't, as it's one of the better made films of this genre from a technical basis. Kudos to director Koltai for adapting the novel into a powerful visual statement of man's inhumanity.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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