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RED PSLAM

Hungary, 1972 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Miklós Jancsó

Jancso's last film seen in Australia was his Silence and Cry (Melbourne Film Festival, 1969) and it showed the director probing the machinery of oppression in his unique style.

In Red Psalm, Jancso once again deals with the oppressed, this time with the fate of the Hungarian peasants at the turn of the century. Their demands for their rights are met at first by the offer of wheat to satisfy their immediate needs, then by threats, and finally, by violence. Drawn from an actual event, Jancso's film defines a folk legend through his use of ritual and symbols, and what results is not the victory of brute force, but the futility of violence in the face of man's unquenchable thirst for freedom. A faithful recon­struction of history is clearly not Jancso's concern—his goal, the truth, lies beneath the surface of the events.

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