Three generations of Hungarian Jews with a furniture shop in Budapest: at the center is the love affair of Imre and Gerda. Imre is the elder son of the family patriarch, a veteran of the ...
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Three generations of Hungarian Jews with a furniture shop in Budapest: at the center is the love affair of Imre and Gerda. Imre is the elder son of the family patriarch, a veteran of the Great War. Imre greets Gerda when she arrives from Germany to teach; he shepherds her through a sham marriage and divorce so that she, an Aryan, can marry him. He becomes a Christian and has their son Kisfiu, the story's narrator, baptized. We follow family fortune from brief Bolshevik rule in 1919 through the rise of the Nazis, Imre's life in a camp, hiding during World War II, the fate of Gerda and Imre's brothers, the ascendancy of the Communists, revolt, and Kisfiu's growing up. Written by
This is a film about childhood memory and family mythology; some of the events seem perfectly straightforward, while others verge into the fabulous, in the way that time conflates and enlarges childhood memories. It's beautifully made and reminded me a bit of Fellini's idiosyncratic memory films, like AMARCORD.
Historical events are taken for granted, so the more the viewer knows about 20th-century Hungarian history, the more sense the story makes; this would be a good movie to see after watching Szabo's SUNSHINE, which covers the same period, but with a more traditional and informative narrative.
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