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TAMAS AND JULI

Hungary / France, 1997 (MIFF 1999, 2000 seen by...)

Director: Ildiko Enyedi

"I wanted to make a simple story, to show what is really important in an individual's life. I wanted to leave a memory: Ihe way in which people lived and loved on the eve of the Year 2000 in a small and remote village of Hungary. The themes in the film are eternal. At school I was struck by how the Greek tragedies spoke of exactly the same problems as today. Personal problems remain the same, even if the civilisations around us change enormously."—lldiko Enyedi

Enyedi's film tells the story of Tamas, a young miner, and and Juli, a kindergarten teacher. On New Year's Eve 1999, Juli resolves to write a letter to Tamas: she will wait for him until 10PM at the Bar du Rocher. Tamas reads and re-reads the love letter while the fore­man of the mine where he works announces the five miners who have drawn the short straw and are required to work New Year's Eve. Tamas' name is amongst those selected but he has no way of contacting Juli to inform her of his predicament.

Their story has never been simple. The pair met a few months earlier during an idyllic summer but Tamas, young and awkward, has been dallying with their bud­ding relationship. Weeks and then seasons have passed with only tentative steps toward romance, both of them too proud to profess love. On the last day of Ihe centu­ry, perhaps its not too late...

lldiko Enyedi's remarkable, beautiful love story reduces millennial tension to component parts and basic human desires. Rather than turn her attention to mounting national and global issues, Enyedi reduces her examination to the everyday craving for warmth and affection. Profound without having to make grand state­ments and wonderfully realised.

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