WITH this adaptation of his theatre play, Szabolcs Hadju, one of the most prolific directors in Hungary, delivers a slap on the wrist of years of financing limbo in the film industry. Why wait, when the need to create is here and now? What follows is a praise to resourcefulness, with Hadju inspiring his family members to rousing performances and harnessing his thirteen students behind the camera with his own home acting as the soundstage.
The scenes reach a Cassavetes-like ripple, as Hadju and his actress wife, Orsolya Török-Illyés, play a married couple drifting apart in the riptide of parenthood. The family brat is played by their own son, Zsigmond. Disappointments erupt into words, when the wife’s sister suddenly returns from abroad with her family. Under one roof, the dreams and reality of the two families are subtly interwoven.
Even if the production premise might lead you to expect an overflowing experiment, the end result is anything but. This controlled and insightful depiction of middle age and family ties, which won the main prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will simmer in your mind for long after the end credits. (MM)
One of the top names in Hungarian Cinema, SZABOLCS HAJDU (b. 1972) has been characterized as a filmmaker who fearlessly mingles with different genres and challenging topics. Starting from his early award-winning films, Sticky Matters (2001) and Tamara (2004), a focal element has been collaborating with his actress spouse, Orsalya Tökök-Illyés. Hajdu’s best-known films include the autobiographical White Palms (2007), a grim portrayal of human trafficking, Bibliotheque Pascal, and the first Hungarian Western starring Jarmusch stalwart Isaach De Bankolé, Mirage (2014).