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Holiday in Britain
dir. István Dárday / Hungary 1974 / 85’
subtitles: Polish and English
Golden Era of Hungarian Cinema


Kálmán Tamás, Kálmánné Tamás, Mária Simai, István Márton, József Borsi

Film description

The poignant satire of communist Hungary's customs and politics makes one think of Marek Piwowski's The Cruise (Rejs). As the school-year ends, a group of local officials in a provincial town start to search for a musically talented pioneer to represent the poviat during a holiday in Britain. After a short casting, the 17-year-old Tibi is selected. The leader of a local rock band, dressed in scouts clothing and singing patriotic songs, seems to be the perfect candidate. But starting from this moment, there are only troubles ahead for the main character: his mother is ready to do anything not to let him go abroad, his jealous friends taunt him, his neighbours gossip and the authorities spread a false image of common happiness and general love for socialistic ideas.The filmmakers chose a para-documentary form to depict the funny and agitating events of Tibi's life. The town shown on screen is inhabited by people, who have only general knowledge of the screenplay, all actors are non-professionals, locations were natural and dialogues were improvised during shooting. This gained the story extraordinary authenticity. The film ironically points to the typical faults of Hungarian society: crude rituals of the authorities, superstitious villagers, omnipresent hypocrisy, boredom and moving passivity.

Rafał Syska

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