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Using almost no dialogue, the film follows a number of residents (both human and animal) of a small rural community in Hungary - an old man with hiccups, a shepherdess and her sheep, an old woman who may or may not be up to no good, some folk-singers at a wedding, etc. While most of the film is a series of vignettes, there is a sinister and often barely perceptible subplot involving murder. Written by
This film challenges the idea that we need dialogue to define human interaction, or even interaction between humans, animals and the environment. There simply is no dialogue, just a bit of murmuring in the background and some singing near the end. It may sound boring, but isn't because you are constantly wondering what will happen next.
The movie covers the life of a small Hungarian village during the course of, more or less, one day. You see the people, the animals, underground, underwater, in the air, everything. Camera angles are exploited relentlessly to show every little thing, from a car door being unlocked to a fish striking at a swimming frog.
Because of the lack of dialoge, many things are up to the viewer's interpretation. One person may come up with a completely different view of what happened in the movie than another, even if they were watching it together. I watched this with my girlfriend, the red-haired queen of late night cinema, and we had a terrific argument over our differing opinions on what exactly had transpired in the movie. During the argument, she seized a burning stick from the fireplace and commenced beating me with it to emphasize her point, thereby proving the supremacy of a piece of wood over well-constructed film criticism.
This film should be seen by anyone who enjoys experimental film in any way, or simply wants to see something different but not boring. It is not over-repetitive, nor is it slow moving in any way. I applaud the director who can not only conceive of such a movie, but execute it in an interesting and watchable way.
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