Tag Archives: Hungary

A tanú / The Witness (1969) Péter Bacsó, Ferenc Kállai, Lajos Öze, Béla Both, Drama, Comedy

A tanu (Peter Bacso, 1969)
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.

Read More »

Mephisto (1981) István Szabó, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Krystyna Janda, Ildikó Bánsági, Drama

Mephisto (1981)
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and friends flee or are ground under by the Nazi terror, the popularity of his character supercedes his own existence until he finds that his best performance is keeping up appearances for his Nazi patrons.

Read More »

Szabadesés / Free Fall (2014) György Pálfi, Piroska Molnár, Miklós Benedek, Tamás Jordán, Comedy, Drama

Szabadeses AKA Free Fall (2014)
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.

Read More »

Dúvad / The Brute (1961) Zoltán Fábri, Ferenc Bessenyei, Tibor Bitskey, Mária Medgyesi, Drama

Duvad (1961)
This drama about a boorish non-conformist takes place in Hungary after the war and is dulled a little by political overtones but is still an engaging story. The setting is the countryside, where an independent, landowning farmer busies himself in his free time by bedding down the women on his farm and then tossing them aside. One such ill-treated lass ends up marrying a young man who is in charge of a communal farm, a farm the womanizing “beast” of the title is later forced to join. The arrogant, formerly independent farmer does not reform his ways and is soon chasing after the young manager’s wife, the woman he dropped not that long ago. The results are disastrous.

Read More »