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ANGI VERA

Hungary, 1979 (MIFF 1980, Programme 10)

Director: Pál Gábor

The time is 1948: eighteen-year-old Vera is an uneducated, ingenuous assistant nurse in a hispital. A new social system is beginning to emerge and Vera's background identifies her with the rising new world. At a party meeting, she speaks her mind about irregular practices in the hospital. Party officials take note of her an send her to a school to study politics. Her classmates are destined to become leaders and people in authority in years to come.

She befriends a former resistance fighter and is attracted to her teacher. As Vera works her way through her situations, we sense that she is filled with a radical innocence and that it is this characteristic by which Pal Gabor has been able to clearly see the social institutions and demands that have formed her.

Richard Schickel in "Time" summed up this luminous and memorable film as follows:

"That Angi Vera lingers so in one's mind is a tribute to the winsome playing of Veronika Papp in the title role. She retains one's sympathy even when she is at her most enigmatic, even when, finally, she appalls. But the highest praise must go to writer-director Gabor. His wonderfully searching eye brings alive all sorts of difficult scenes - awful school social events, boring classroom discussions, dormitory gossip sessions - grants them a waywardness and resonance that are rare. The deft economy with which he characterises his heroine's classmates, preventing them from being mere types, is admirable. Strange and distant though his milieu is, it makes a rewarding and instructive place to visit."

Pal Gabor - born 1932. Graduate in film direction from the Hungarian Academy of Dramatic and Cinematographic Arts. Feature Films - Forbidden Ground (1968), Horizon (1971), Journey With Jacob (1972), Epidemic (1975), Angi Vera (1978).

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