In 1919, Hungarian Communists aid the Bolsheviks' defeat of Czarists, the Whites. Near the Volga, a monastery and a field hospital are held by one side then the other. Captives are executed... See full summary »
In Hungary, the national movement led by Kossuth has been crushed and the Austrian hegemony re-established, but partisans carry on with violent actions. In order to root out the guerilla, ... See full summary »
Miklós Jancsó's Silence and Cry is set during a turbulent era of disquiet, fear, persecution and terror, which permeates every corner of post-WWI Hungarian society. In 1919, after just a ... See full summary »
In a sumptuous villa surrounded by a vast park, Rudolph of Habsburg, the heir to the imperial throne spends the summer contesting the old emperor in the only way that is congenial to him: ... See full summary »
The title alone is (almost) enough to recommend the film, but perhaps only a native Hungarian could make sense out of its meandering, improvised mock narrative: an elusive, intellectual jigsaw puzzle involving several unidentified characters, a few murders, a mysterious powder-blue Volkswagen Bug, and many strategically placed video monitors. Like many Eastern Bloc features hoping to circumvent the censors the film is heavily stylized to no real purpose (or perhaps to hide a lack of such), with lots of symbolic tableaux, repetitive action, and portentous dialogue. But the camera-work is so immaculate and each shot so smoothly choreographed that the film at least commands attention (if not respect), even while it so casually eludes comprehension. Call it, at best, a challenging, even playful mystery, but too oblique and infuriating to qualify as entertainment.
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