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Hungary, 1973 (MIFF 1974)

Director: Pál Zolnay

It is New Year's Eve, and merrymakers crowd the streets. Two photographers wander amongst them taking snap-shots. People are only too willing to pose for them, hoping the picture will turn out better than the original. They want a good photograph to place on the wall, simitar to their parents' and grandparents' pictures. And for the photographers, their first conflict develops: shall they leave the picture as it is, or touch it up to satisfy their clients' wishes.

As the camera clicks and faces appear in the developing situation, a story evolves about the lives of a lonely old peasant woman, a young couple and an elderly peasant couple. The old woman explains that her husband's first wife killed her two daughters. The two young men decide to visit the murderer. They want to understand people, not just take snap-shots of an external image or even ask people questions. They wish to act in the interest of the people they photograph.

Photography is made as a semi-documentary, without a script, and with a cast of largely non-actors. Only the two young photographers are played by actors. Pal Zolnay explains his intention in making the film, "Since the beginning of my career 1 was interested in the feelings of people; the manifestation of their individual interests, desires and dreams in connexion with objective reality. I tried to capture this in my latest film . . ."

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