Review: ‘Fenyerzekeny Tortenet’

Screenplay, Erdoss, Kardos. Camera (color), Ferenc Pap; editor, Klara Majoros; music, Janos Masik; production design, Laszlo Makai; sound, Istvan Sipos. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 8, 1994. Running time: 93 MIN.

Screenplay, Erdoss, Kardos. Camera (color), Ferenc Pap; editor, Klara Majoros; music, Janos Masik; production design, Laszlo Makai; sound, Istvan Sipos. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 8, 1994. Running time: 93 MIN.

A film about the everyday problems facing Hungarians in the post-communist era, this aptly titled pic is undoubtedly a minor item, but could find attentive audiences at fests and on TV in some countries. A lovely lead performance from Erika Ozsda is a major plus.

Ozsda plays Juli, a 30-year-old divorced woman who is working as a freelance photographer and bringing up her 11-year-old son whose father has been living for some years in Munich. Juli has a lover, a student a bit younger than she is, but their relationship is difficult because of the everyday problems (lack of accommodations, difficulty of earning money) they face.

One day, Juli is approached by her former in-laws, who want to take her boy to Munich for Christmas to see his father. She reluctantly agrees, but her worst fears are realized when the couple return to Budapest without the boy. Unable to make contact with her former husband and her son, Juli is forced to sell her most precious possession — her camera — in order to fly to Munich to find them.

Director Pal Erdoss tells this sad, everyday story with a gentle humanity that allows the viewer to identify completely with Juli’s situation. At the same time, the film is filled with detail about life in Hungary today for a single woman (sexual harassment being only one of Juli’s problems).

This modestly produced item isn’t overly ambitious, but it provides a satisfying, moving experience.

Fenyerzekeny Tortenet

Production

A Budapest Filmstudio production in association with TV2/ZDF/ARTE. (International sales: Cinemagyar, Budapest.) Produced by Ferenc Kardos. Directed by Pal Erdoss.
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