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30th JULY, 16:00
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Father
Apa
dir. István Szabó / Hungary 1966 / 98’
subtitles: Polish and English
Golden Era of Hungarian Cinema

Cast

András Bálint, Katalin Sólyom, Miklós Gábor, Klári Tolnay

Film description

The full-length debut of one of the most outstanding artists of Hungarian cinema: István Szabó. The main character, András is brought up by his mother alone, as his father died in 1945. András grows up in times which are not at all easy: the Stalinist terror is increasing, then the Budapest uprising begins, and in the 1960s Hungary enters the era of the stable 'goulash communism'. For the main character, his father's absence is a painful mystery, so András invents fictitious biographies for his parent, altering facts, causes of death and always adapting this legend to current political patterns. He cannot define his own philosophy of life either, flinging from the communist scouting and anti-Soviet student demonstrations.

István Szabó's debut is not only a chronicle of the latest history of Hungary, but also an impressive study of conformism and immaturity. He depicted a world of false examples and cruel ideology, in which avoiding politics and righteous life are treated as danger and treason. Father is also a reflective story about becoming an adult where jokes and idealism are not so important as responsibility for another person, taking care of one's family and moral rigour.

Rafał Syska

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