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Hungary, 1970 (MIFF 1980, István Szabó Retrospective, Programme 34)

Director: István Szabó

"Szabo's concern for history could not be considered a political in the sense of providing a political perspective on Hungary. What he does show is how historical events and social convulsions affect individuals and how, in turn, his story is the abstraction of the repetitive individual stories. The ultimate generality makes an impressive ending for his next film, Lovefilm, in 1970. The love story is not the focus of the film, but the aim and dream, as a father was the goal in Father. Szabo investigates an impossible love, a love inextricably conjoined by the cruelties of war and its aftermath of social reforms. The maturing of childhood sweethearts is not, however, the subject of the film. What is a leit-motif in other films is the focus of this one - Hungarians in exile. An inseparable pair of children are severed by the escape and exile of Kata. It's a subjective story, told from Jancsi's point of view, once again portrayed by Andras Balint; Judith Halasz was the perfect star for 1970, sporty but wistful, blonde and blue-eyed, doll-faced but tough. In close-ups she is he child of Jancsi's memories, but when the camera dollies around her, she is the object of adult desire.

Lovefilm does not investigate the causes for emigration out of Hungary, but draws a very accurate portrait of a weeping displace bourgeoisie, intermingling, intermarrying, but never thoroughly absorbed"...

See also...


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A romantic, nostalgic film of a young man traversing time and distance to recapture a past love. ... On a train between Budapest and Paris, Jancsi relives through a series of flashbacks the period he ... More »

A Dream of a House

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Szabo's newest Hungarian film is yet to be seen here. However, in a recent interview published in Hungarofilm Bulletin, he explained what he wanted to communicate - ... "It was in these past few ... More »


Istvan Szabo's short film You was shown in the 1964 Melbourne Film Festival and it indicated the arrival of a new talent in Hungarian cinema. Szabó is only 26, and in this, his first feature film ... More »


25 Fireman's Street tells the tale of a house being demolished and as the house crumbles, a century of Hungarian history unfolds. Szabo sketched his original concept for this intricate film: "One ... More »

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