An animated history lesson for Hungarian schoolkids, “Song of the Miraculous Hind” has little or nothing to offer non-Magyars. Long-in-production feature from veteran Marcell Jankovics offers good, if very retro, design, and bright use of color, but little in the way of contemporary animation techniques. Lacking a conventional narrative, film is likely to overstay its welcome for all but the very dedicated fans of Hungarian history.
Divided into four sections, “Song” is inspired by the Siberian and Finno-Ugric legends about Creation, in which the world begins with characters who are only half-human, one being half-bird, the other half-bear. The narrator delves into the origins of Hungarian culture, the Iranian and Turkish influences that impacted the society, and finally the story of Stephen, the emperor who brought Christianity to the country and shifted the capital west in an attempt to link with Europe. Using a mainly choral soundtrack, pic takes itself very seriously, with no attempts at humor as the lengthy saga unfolds.