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THE ROUND-UP

Hungary, 1966 (MIFF 1967, Programme 10)

Director: Miklós Jancsó

The action of the film takes place in the years after the collapse of the 1848 Revolution against the Hapsburgs. Its anti-heroes are a group of impoverished Hungarian peasants who, after defeat, continued their isolated guerilla warfare. They became legendary characters: for a century, songs, poems, folk-tales spoke of the tough, enduring character of these men, and the rough, coarse justice of their leader, Sandor Rozsa, a kind of Robin Hood of the Great Plain. The film concerns the round-up of these insurgents by the Austrian army, and it traces the course of events step by step. One after the other, the brigands give in, betray one another, turn against friends, until in the end, they walk blindly into the last trap.

Not content with merely telling a story, the film observes history by creating a style to match and release real inner dimensions. This is a Kafkaesque no-man's land: stylised, yet very real. It is stunning visually, and the dynamics of violence are harnessed to the tragedy which is secretly maturing under the blazing heat of summer.

British Film Critic's Prize for Best Foreign Film; Prize of the Hungarian Film Critics.

See also...

SILENCE AND CRY

After the first Communist revolution in Hungary in 1919, soldiers of the Red Army are in hiding from government patrols. One of them is sheltered by a farmer who is suspicious of him. His wife and ... More »

THE TYRANT'S HEART

The elliptical/emblematic/symbolic films of Miklos Jancso have always exerted a fascination for festival-goers. His latest film again employs the techniques he has developed — elaborately ... More »

THE CONFRONTATION

In The Controntation, Jancsd again deals with social and political problems of Hungarian history and revolution. The film is set in 1947, and the characters are the students in the people's colleges ... More »

RED PSALM

Agricultural labourers and peasants in Hungary have gone on strike sometime during the 1890's. They are opposed, with increasing violence, by the military. The labourers, who are fighting for their ... More »

CANTATA

A young surgeon feels his life has come to an impasse. The deeply humane feelings of an elder colleague make apparent to him the emptiness of his own existence. He recognizes that his concern for ... More »

SILENCE AND CRY

This film completes a trilogy from Miklds Jancso that began with The Round-up and The Red and the White, it is set in 1919, a disturbing period after the fall of the Hungarian Republic of Councils ... More »

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