Cert: 12A Year: 2017 Length: 101 mins Language: Hungarian/Russian
Cinema Handout (PDF 180KB)
Score: 81.03% Attendance: 112
A train pulls into town and two men dressed in black get out, with two large crates. In the summer heat, they begin their long, slow walk into town...If there was music in the background by Ennio Morricone, you might think this was a American western, but instead the music is by Tibor Szemzö and we are in Hungary in August 1945.
The two men are Orthodox Jews: Where are they heading? Have they come to exact their revenge on the town for its betrayal of Jewish residents during the Nazi occupation? Many in the town soon think so ("The Jews have arrived" one onlooker says). It is little more than a year since they allowed the Nazis to take them away. Those who remained have made good by confiscating Jewish property, none more so than the town clerk, Istvan, who is now a rich and powerful man; do the two men want it back?
To emphasise the change in mood and the growth of paranoia, Director Ferenc Török has chosen to make this the day of Istvan's son's wedding. When the train arrives, all the town are celebrating at Istvan's expense...
"The filmmakers appear to be aiming for something mythic or tragic as the Jewish men walk toward their mystery destination and as their presence results in dramatic events...the stellar movie succeeds as a portrait of cowardice and collective complicity in vile times" - Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner. "The camera creeps from room to room, around corners and through doors and windows, furtively glimpsing the quiet dread. The score relies on sparse bass and strings, occasionally blended with the persistent clopping of horse hoofs. '1945' is a confident, finely paced piece of visual storytelling" - Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News.
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