Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó’s ‘The Witness’ has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. Known as the best satire about communism, ‘The Witness’ has become a cult classic, which was also well received by critics and general audiences alike when it was finally released outside of Hungary. Its candid and realistic portrayal of the incompetent communist regime has earned great acclaim for both the director and the film itself when it was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 1981. ‘The Witness’ takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. The film follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his “heinous” crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite.
Tag Archives: Hungarian
Napló gyermekeimnek / Diary for My Children (1984) Márta Mészáros, Zsuzsa Czinkóczi, Teri Földi, Anna Polony, Biography, Drama
From one of the foremost woman directors comes a personal story of how history and the individual impact each other. A young woman (Juli) returns to her homeland only to find the horrors she escaped have infected it also.
Szabadesés / Free Fall (2014) György Pálfi, Piroska Molnár, Miklós Benedek, Tamás Jordán, Comedy, Drama
Seven floors, seven identically built apartments yet completely different worlds. Seven situations, seven different stories that are nevertheless tied together by thousand strings. They are absurd, often times mysterious mocking glasses of reality as we know it. Like images of an exhibition, these stories are authentic per se, created in different styles and genres, thus told in different ways. It is exactly this diversity that organizes these stories into one peculiar tale.
During WW2 Hungarian resistance hides a married couple from the officials. The woman is sent to act as the wife of one of the resistance members who is also in hiding and pretending to be somebody else. They slowly begin to fall in love.
Magyar rapszódia / Hungarian Rhapsody (1979) Miklós Jancsó, György Cserhalmi, Lajos Balázsovits, Gábor Koncz, Drama, History
This liturgical-surrealistic parable evokes the model-like events of the second decade of the century as reflected by the inner spiritual transformation of István Zsadányi, inspired by the figure of Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky. The young Zsadányi brothers of licentious habits kill the peasant leader András Baksa because he had humiliated their father. The fiercely nationalist István fights through World War I and in the following era of White Terror becomes a racist detachment officer and a Member of Parliament. After a lost battle, ridden by visions, he has his most devoted followers butchered. A mystical and fanatic love of freedom and the land turns him gradually to the common people. He leaves for the Baksa farm to face the son of the murdered old Baksa and the fate that awaits him.
Megáll az idö / Time Stands Still (1982) Péter Gothár, Anikó Iván, István Znamenák, Péter Gálfy, Drama
A Budapest high school in the beginning of the 1960s. Dinis suffers the torments of adolescence. His father had to leave Hungary after the uprise in 1956, and since then Dini’s mother has had to take care of her two sons on her own. A friend of Dinis’ father, Bodor, is released from prison and moves in with them. Dinis and his brother Bodor are far from happy over this intrusion of their family life.
The Pierre Woodman Story / A Pierre Woodman sztori (2009) András Kovács M., Péter Szajki, Documentary, Erotic
This documentary shows the life of French porn film director and producer Pierre Woodman, who has discovered several dozen Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Russian girls for the porn industry; girls who did not have a second though about participating in Pierre’s castings. This French-born entrepreneur and dare-devil is famous and envied for recording his porn movie castings, during which he “tests“ the candidates. Monsieur Woodman is 45 years old and has had 3000 sexual contacts with women so far.