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Hungary, 1958 (MIFF 1959, Programme 6)

Director: Zoltan Fabri

Anna, an innocent, timid, village girl of 17, becomes maid to a wealthy Budapest family. In her loneliness and desire for affection she is beguiled by a young dandy &ndash: nephew of her hysterical mistress &ndash: who seduces her, but turns his attentions to a young guest of the household. Abandoned and completely isolated, Anna is filled with a humiliation and despair which eventually leads to murder.

In a lyrical representation, a mythical bird symbolises Anna's longing for love. This is the first of a complex of intriguing visions and dream sequences which are keystones in the motivation and emotional build-up for the fatal decision. With inventive, exciting music, they are used for overpowering effect during the realization that she cannot continue under this ever-increasing distress and oppression.

Mari Torocsik, in the exacting role of Anna, conveys the inner conflict and outer circumstance of this soul in a sensitive performance.

The director, Zoltan Fabri, is one of Hungary's outstanding talents — The Melbourne Film Festival screened his Professor Hannibal in 1958. Anna represented Hungary at the Cannes Festi¬val this year, and is regarded as one of their finest productions.

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