A somehow forgotten tragedy in European history, the Hungarian revolution of 1956 was the first case of a country subject to communist dictatorship to get rid of their oppressors and return to freedom. Indro Montanelli, one of the most important and known Italian journalists, had been the only Italian (and maybe European) war reporter to truly report what was going on in Budapest in those days of October/November 1956, while basically all the Italian press (led or influenced by the communist party and its Stalinist leader Palmiro Togliatti) defamed the revolution as a "fascist counter-revolution". The movie is the only involvement of Montanelli in flicks industry and comes from its drama written for the theaters (not taking into account Rosselini's "Il Generale Della Rovere", based on a novel by Montanelli and rejected by the author as unfaithful to the book). It is a kammerspiel where the conflict of characters reveals the ideological conflict going on in the Italian political and intellectual environment. Five reporters of different political ideas, some of them former partisans in World War II in Italy, are closed in a hotel in Budapest. One of them (the younger, played by Renzo Montagnani) falls in love with a Hungarian partisan (a wonderful Lea Massari) and will join the last resistance of the city against the Soviet tanks. One is a communist with relationships with the Soviet diplomatics who are negotiating with the Hungarians, a negotiation that will suddenly turn into an ambush (with the Hungarian negotiators arrested and convicted in Romania, all of them shot about one year after). One is an important reporter and one is a broke fellow looking for the last chance. One is an old and respected director who is looking for an "accident" in order to let his family cash his life insurance. The theatric origin is clear and the action is all outside the hotel room where the characters talk, discuss, argue and finally become aware of (and to some extent take part to) the tragedy of the Soviet invasion that ended the revolution with a bloodbath. While maybe not outstanding as a movie, it remains an important, or probably unique, testimony of the Hungarian revolution.
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