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RED INK

Hungary, 1959 (MIFF 1961, Programme 34)

Director: Viktor Gertler

This Hungarian film tackles an adult theme of whether love has the right to disturb the peace and happiness of a family - whether one can teach ideals and not live up to them.

Maria, a young school-mistress, begins, with great ambition, her work at a school in Budapest. She feels that she has not only won the affection of her pupils, but also the confidence of the parents. But everything changes when she falls in love with one of her colleagues, a drawing master, whose young daughter happens to be her pupil. The film shows what effect the discovery of this situation has on the child's mind, and how Maria finally reacts to the conflict of loyalties which presents itself.

In this struggle between loyalties and love the director perhaps has not sufficiently plumbed the emotional depths of his characters, but he has successfully avoided the pitfalls of sentimentality.

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