Voted as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films 1948-1968" by Hungarian filmmakers and critics ("Budapest 12") in 1969 and then again as one of the "12 Best Hungarian Films" ("New Budapest 12") in 2000. See more »
Over the years, Hungarian director István Szabó has become famous for films like "Mephisto" (about a man who sells himself to the Nazis for status) and "Sunshine" (about three generations of a Jewish-Hungarian family). One of his early movies was "Apa" ("Father" in English), about Tako, a boy in post-war Hungary. Tako's father is dead, and Tako likes to think that his father died heroically fighting the Nazis. But as Tako ages, he starts to question whether or not that's the whole story, and is determined to find out.
Along with this, "Father" looks at the changes that the Magyar Republic underwent after the war. An example is the school's renaming: previously St. Benedict's School, the pro-Soviet government renames it State School. In that sense, I would say that the movie plays a role similar to "I vitelloni" by Federico Fellini and "The Burmese Harp" by Kon Ichikawa, since they looked at the new directions that Italy and Japan were taking, respectively, and how they were having to deal with what happened during WWII. Hungary also had to do this, although it really had to follow the Soviet Union.
Either way, "Apa" is certainly a formidable piece of cinema history. Definitely one of which the people of Magyarország can be proud. Isten, áldd meg a magyart!
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