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BUDAPEST TALES

Hungary, 1977 (MIFF 1977)

Director: István Szabó

A small group of homeless people in post-war Hungary are trying to reach Budapest on foot, when they come across an abandoned tram car After sheltering in the car during the night one of them notices rails running along a levee bank towards the city They decide to drag the car to the rails and push it to the city, at least they will have a place to sleep After a great effort to right the tram, they discover that more help is needed in order to set it on the tracks They persuade others to join them, then start pushing the tram along to the city At every rise in the track, more volunteers are recruited to continue the journey to the tram depot on the outskirts of the city.

Finding an abandoned warehouse on the way, they stock up on food They fight off other gangs of refugees, and increasingly, begin to quarrel among themselves Some fall away from the group, others die, new friendships are formed and others broken But the group struggles on towards the distant city, until one morning when the mist lifts, they discover that they are not alone...

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