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The story shows Emma's and Böbe's fight for survival, for keeping their position in society which they achieved with hard work in the previous regime. They don't want to lose their place and become village girls again.
Johanna ter Steege,
Hungarians had a difficult relationship with the Russians for most of the last century. After 1945 Hungary fell in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, and a fierce democratic revolution was crashed by brutal force in 1956. The Soviet troops stayed in Hungary until the fell of the Iron Curtain. The Russian left in 1990 as defeated soldiers of a crumbling empire and came back a few years later as pauper immigrants aspiring to reach the West. These are the premises of this film.
The strength of 'Bolshe Vita' is in the mix of characters who find themselves in the center of Europe in the midst of a world that is changing, although most of them do not really understand how and cannot make their mind what to do with their lives. They are Russian, Hungarian, Welsh, American and are mis-communicating in words while building the puzzle pieces of a landscape of naive hopes that is swapped away by the reality of a change process that does not go in any expected and rational direction. Best scenes in the movie are those where music, and sometimes simple gestures or looks replace words. It's a colorful and deeply human world, confusing maybe just because the characters are so confused.
I confess to have understood less the final documentary scenes of the movie with the violence probably inspired by the Balkan wars. The years after 1996 when the film was made put what happened in those first years of regained and troubled freedom for the former Soviet-dominated countries into a different perspective. 'Bolshe Vita' remains like a snapshot of crushed hopes in a spring that was never followed by a summer the way people expected.
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