Strangled (A martfüi rém)
Cert: 18 Year: 2016 Length: 121 mins Language: Hungarian
Cinema Handout (PDF 89KB)
Score: 69.12% Attendance: 68
After last week's true-life feminist western, this week's 1950s Hungarian Cold War true-life crime thriller is going to show up the Stalinist state's decidedly male chauvinist attitudes even more. The film starts just after the 1956 uprising, with Moscow definitely in charge, determined to defend the Soviet system. "One summer night in 1957, a young woman is murdered as she walks home from her job at a shoe factory in the provincial town of Martfu. The woman's spurned lover Akos Reti is the prime suspect, and Sopsits appears to place him firmly in the frame. Despite protests from his sister Rita, Reti swiftly confesses to the crime and is handed a death sentence, later commuted to 25 years in prison" - Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter.
This might have been the end of it if similar murders hadn't started again in 1964… two more women die before Detective Bota and Prosecutor Szirmai - the local law enforcers - decide they are all linked... including the 1957 murder too. "Exposing the cracks in a supposedly flawless Communist justice system can only invite serious repercussions in a Soviet satellite state dependent on law, order and social conformity. With their careers hanging in the balance, Bota and Szirmai come under pressure to find a culprit and close the case as soon as possible. 'There are no serial killers in this country — is that clear?' barks one regional party boss" - Stephen Dalton again. Can Bota and Szirmai solve the case and find the murderer,or will the State intervene and frame other innocent bystanders?
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