By Sheli Teitelbaum. The Jerusalem Report. Jerusalem: Apr 3, 2006. pg.
Hungarian director Lajos Koltai's film version of Imre Kertesz's 'Fateless'
does not shy away from depicting the beauty that existed in life in
Should it come as a surprise that what some critics are calling the
finest Holocaust film ever made was the work of a non-Jew? In the case
of Hungarian cinematographer Lajos Koltai, who found himself given the
assignment by Hungarian-Jewish Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz of directing
"Fateless," the screen adaptation of his 1975 novel of the same name,
the question may well be worth asking. Especially as Koltai feels no
compunction about informing The Jerusalem Report that in filming the
quasi-biographical details of Kertesz's wartime experiences, he looked
for inspiration to Jesus' ascent to Calvary. Not as a metaphor for his
own ordeal in bringing off the most expensive Hungarian film spectacle
ever attempted, mind you, but for that of Kertesz's fictional depiction
of his own youthful self, arrested and sent to Auschwitz at the height
of the Holocaust in Hungary.
"Oh, come on," Koltai snapped, when I expressed surprise at his choice
of Jesus as a governing metaphor for the story of the author who was
long denigrated in his native Hungary for making his fiction too Jewish.
"You know Jesus was a Jew, and that everybody is carrying the heavy
cross on his shoulder. It's made from wood, or maybe it is your faith.
But everyone has one."