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LIGHT PHYSICAL INJURIES

Hungary, 1984 (MIFF 1984)

Director: György Szomjas

When Csaba, a rowdy quick-tempered labourer, is released from gaol for having stabbed a man in a drunken brawl, he finds his wife, Eva, living with another man, Miklos. A quick divorce follows, but owing to the housing shortage in Budapest the three are forced to live under the same roof.

To witness the domestic bliss of the woman he still loves, in an apartment where all thin-walled rooms except his are shared, turns Csaba's life into hell. Tensions develop, compounded by Csaba's scatterbrained mother, prying neighbours and arrogantly intrusive police. Miklos and Eva try to get rid of Csaba by provoking him into a fight that will land him back in gaol: they cut off his electricity, challenge him when he brings a woman home, report him for rowdy behaviour—but he refrains from violent retaliation.

Yet underneath it all Eva still loves Csaba and accepts him again—this time as a lover. She becomes pregnant. Realizing that Csaba would never be an ideal living partner, she decides to marry Miklos. For Csaba, this is just about the breaking point.

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