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WHEN JOSEPH RETURNS

Hungary, 1975 (MIFF 1977)

Director: Zsolt Kézdi Kovács

Maria is a country girl who comes to Budapest to work in a factory. She marries a merchant seaman. Joseph, and for a short time, they are happy. When he goes away to sea, she is left in Budapest with her mother-in-law, Agnes. The older woman, whose own marriage has failed, finds an occasional lover, while Maria is lonely and unsure of herself. She meets a chauffeur, has an affair with him, then leaves her factory job to work for her lover's employer. She is soon dismissed, and as she moves from job to job, drifts into different relationships, until she discovers she is pregnant. Agnes is worried about her son's marriage, at the same time, she is concerned for Maria, yet resents her slovenly and wayward existence. After trying to get help from her foster parents in vain, Maria returns to a difficult, but slowly improving relationship with her mother-in-law. Joseph returns, and the two women go to the waterfront to meet him...

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