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Csend és kiáltás (Silence and Cry)

Posted by martinteller on June 10, 2013

I found this quite a bit harder to follow than either The Round-Up or The Red and the White.  As far as I can tell, it involves a Red Army freedom fighter named István (András Kozák) hiding out from counter-revolutionary forces in a farmhouse.  The commander in charge likes asserting his power and making the citizens do humiliating things.  But for some reason, even though he knows the farmer and his family are hiding István, he lets it slide.  Then István faces an ethical dilemma.

This one seems to require more familiarity with Hungarian history than Jancso’s more famous films, it has less universality.  But there is some compelling material about the abuse and arbitrary cruelty of power.  Even among those on the same side, there’s a power structure and people are always telling those “under” them what to do.  Jancso’s cinematography is impressive as always, very intricate choreography as the camera glides around the actors and the landscape.  Still, I was a little too perplexed by the situation and the character relationships for it to be very effective.  Rating: Fair (69)


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