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Red Psalm (1972)
"Még kér a nép" (original title)

 -  Drama | Musical | War  -  9 March 1972 (Hungary)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 667 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 14 critic

Set in the 1890s on the Hungarian plains, a group of farm workers go on strike in-which they face harsh reprisals and the reality of revolt, oppression, morality and violence.

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Title: Red Psalm (1972)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrea Drahota ...
Nagy Mária, szocialista
Gyöngyi Bürös ...
Ráczné, szocialista
Erzsi Cserhalmi ...
Galambos lány, szocialista
Mari Csomós ...
Cselédlány
Ilona Gurnik ...
Paraszt asszony
Éva Spányik ...
Fehérkendõs halottsirató asszony
Zsuzsa Ferdinándy ...
Grófnõ
József Madaras ...
Hegedüs Bálint, szocialista
Lajos Balázsovits ...
Fiatal tiszt
Tibor Orbán ...
Pongrácz András, szocialista
Jácint Juhász ...
Tóth Ferenc, szocialista
András Bálint ...
Majláth gróf
Bertalan Solti ...
Öreg Hegedüs
Tibor Molnár ...
Lovas Imre, szocialista
János Koltai ...
Szocialista
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Storyline

Set in the 1890s on the Hungarian plains, a group of farm workers go on strike in-which they face harsh reprisals and the reality of revolt, oppression, morality and violence.

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Genres:

Drama | Musical | War

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 March 1972 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Még kér a nép  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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The movie consists of only 27 takes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
No ecstatic jump
7 October 2012 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

I consider the discussion about art to be a meaningless waste of energy, so I will let others sort out whether this is 'great art' or not. Whether or not this is a cinematic triumph against plot and character though, as championed by many, will invariably depend on your definition of cinematic. It does not meet mine, at least my definition of richly cinematic worth leaving the mind behind.

Here's the setup: it is apparently the 1890's, the place is a stretch of Hungarian plains rolling in the distance. A village of farmers has gone into a strike, with a battle being fought over their soul and minds. Now and then newcomers emerge from nowhere, young intellectuals who give spirited lectures on Engels and socialist theory, priests with their sermons and rites, soldiers of some distant , oppressive authority.

The people are by turns confused and spirited, bold and despairing. They lash out against each other, burn a church. They pray and hold court. Now and then they sing and dance about their woes, stabbing who they see as more privileged. Soldiers swell their revolutionary ranks, then break out and shoot them. It all happens in circles in that same featureless plain.

The allegory is stark, what the Czech had been for years leveling against Nazis: covert attack on the hypocrisy and tyranny of a distant state, by celebrating betrayed hopes and idealism.

It is a complex enough portrayal, but for one factor.

We see a lot of upheaval, a lot of pain turned into song. But we are not tethered into human soul for any of it.

We never know any of these people except schematically, as actors on a stage. A disembodied camera liturgically roams and roams around these faces, but we have no entry into the soft underbelly of actual lives. The Czech also suffer from this in their New Wave films.

It is a matter of presentation. In The Red and the White, Jancso solved this by first ushering us into a world at war, with stakes and limits, with blood coursing through people. So when he abstracted, we were moved the right distance away from the aimless bloodspill to view a more cosmic grind.

Here the abstraction is all done before we get there. The abstract world is already in place and does not transform again; the sparse setting, the visitations, recitations and ceremonies. You don't make the jump to an ecstatic view, and it has to be you.

The film is like this, entirely from the outside. It is like being taken to a room where people are calmly sitting with eyes closed and told this solemn air that you see is meditation. How do you know they're not sleeping?


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