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Sodrásban
dir. István Gaál / Hungary 1963 / 81’
subtitles: Polish and English
Golden Era of Hungarian Cinema

Cast

Andrea Drahota, Marianna Moór, András Kozák, Sándor Csikós, Tibor Orbán

Film description

One of the first significant achievements of the Hungarian New Wave. A group of friends in their 20's, spend their holidays on Tisza. Carefree games and conversations are interrupted by an unexpected tragedy. One of the boys drowns in the river. The teenagers are struck not only by the loss of their friend, but above all by a growing awareness of fragility of life and imminence of death. The characters' adulthood begins and it turns out to be more of a melancholy and mourning land than a place for youngsters' jokes and idealistic dreams. Days pass, memories of their late friend become blurred and those who survived come to terms with the absence of the person they cared for so much.

The impressionist Current, a combination of loosely linked etude-scenes, was a formal and intellectual reference to the, triumphant at the time, Adventure (L'Avventura) by Michelangelo Antonioni, but István Gaál shifted the accent from existentialist reflections to the sphere of emotions, creating a sad and stirring film about nostalgia arising from the Hungarians' national heritage. It evokes pessimistic aura not only among old people, but energetic teenagers, too.

Rafał Syska

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