AJFF Playback Narrative Week Seven Results

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s 20th anniversary season continues online with an interactive film contest. We invite you, our loyal audience, to cast a vote for your favorite films from our festival vault, and help determine which will claim the title of “2020 AJFF Playback Winner" in the categories of short, documentary, and narrative.

Fateless vs. Live and Become


Dir: Lajos Koltai • Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom • 2005 • 134 mins • German, Hungarian, with subtitles

Epic in scope and a profoundly moving addition to Holocaust cinema, Fateless is a daringly crafted testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Gyorgy Koves (an astonishing, almost wordless performance by newcomer Marcell Nagy) is a Budapest teenager who is suddenly swept from his carefree urban surroundings to the surreal experience of the German concentration camps. Stubborn, stoic, in the face of unimaginable human suffering, his existence becomes a surreal adventure in adversity and adaptation. Surviving what he defines as his "given fate," Gyorgy returns home after the war - a gaunt, shambling ghost of a boy - to a vastly changed Hungary, only to face society's unsettling indifference to the horrors he has endured. Fateless was adapted from a semi-autobiographical novel by Imre Kertész, a Nobel Prize-winning author who is himself a survivor of the Nazi death camps. The film is the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lajos Koltai, who frames these harrowing events as a series of random, almost lyrical vignettes of torment and compassion. Also collaborating on Fateless is legendary composer Ennio Morricone who created the film's haunting score. Featured at the 2006 AJFF.


Live and Become
Dir: Radu Mihăileanu • France, Israel • 2004 • 143 mins • Amharic, French, Hebrew, with subtitles

Live and Become is a sweeping epic told through the intense intimacy of one boy's survival amidst the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s. As American and Israel forces airlift thousands of Ethiopian Jews to the Holy Land in a secret mission dubbed "Operation Moses," an African mother colludes to place her 7-year-old non-Jewish son among the evacuees in hopes of saving him from a grim fate. Young Solomon (Moshe Agazi) is swept away to Tel Aviv and taken in by a French Sephardic family. Renamed "Schlomo" by his adoptive parents and forced to conceal his true identity, salvation slowly gives way to the inner emotional decay. Struggling with the infrastructure of a new family, the teachings of Judaism and the sting of racism, Schlomo seeks out the support of an Ethiopian community leader and mentor, Qes Amhra (Yitzhak Edgar). As a teenager circa 1989, Schlomo (now played by Mosche Asebe) falls in love, but the romance only underscores the tension and deceit of his feigned life. The film's powerful concluding chapter centers on Schlomo as an adult (Sirak M. Sabahat) and his bold actions toward self-healing. The scale of the film's production rivals the ambitious arc of the storyline itself. Featured at the 2006 AJFF.

See the Results on Who Gets to Advance to the Next Round