DVD - 2004 | Hungarian
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A young Jewish boy questions his fate when he returns home to Budapest after being liberated from a concentration camp.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Distributed by ThinkFilm, [2004]
Branch Call Number: DVD Drama / Fatel 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 140 min.) :,sd., col. ;,12 cm., in container


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Mar 20, 2015

Sentimental yet more didactic than story-telling flick; poorly-individuated speeches are spouted about the predicament they're in as Jews, etc. So story-wise, think of a Leon Uris, who also can spin his wheels in the history while trying to turn archetypes into fictional characters with soul. A few longueurs, too: 'found myself fast-forwarding now and then.
The acting is adequate-to-good, but never goes much beyond that. The direction struck me as pedestrian at best; maybe a first-time effort (the protagonist's voice-over says he looked for his pals; the actor playing him turns his head. Etcetera.).
All of which is a pity, at least for those of us who could stand to learn at least a bit about what gentile Hungarians did to their Jewish neighbours. As it is, but for one or two tidbits about the experience for Hungarians, it's a bit of a generic primer about concentration camp life, so not for anyone who's done a bit of reading about it.
Music by Ennio Morricone is spare but excellent.
Gave up at 1hr 10 mins of its 2hr 20-min length.
(I now wonder if there's a Primo Levi of this Hungarian experience)

Aug 28, 2012

Well-made movie which looks at the fate of Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust. There is relatively little dialogue so the subtitles are not a problem. It does show you how some of those in the camps who were given control over fellow prisoners could be almost as brutal as the Nazi guards, which is balanced by the compassion and caring demonstrated by other inmates. A bit more voiceover from the central character giving context would have been helpful in places.

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