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Szabadság, szerelem
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Reviews & Ratings for
Children of Glory More at IMDbPro »Szabadság, szerelem (original title)

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48 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Best movie ever in Hungarian historical topic

Author: cscseli from Hungary
19 October 2006

Hungarians are people of wars of independence. They can't stand oppression for a long time. They had wars of independence against Ottomans, Habsburgs and in 1956 against the Soviets. However there are very many exciting stories of the Hungarian history, unfortunately there are very few movies about them. This one commemorates the heroic freedom fighters of Budapest. The Hungarian title "Szabadság szerelem" (in English: Freedom and love) is a historical reference to a poem of Petöfi Sándor, the famous poet and revolutionist of the Hungarian revolution and war of independence of 1848.

You must see this movie to understand peoples of Central and Eastern-Europe and their history. They are all victims of the worst and perhaps the cruelest dictatorship ever in the world. I love this movie. And after that I must say: I'm proud to be a Hungarian.

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35 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

A remarkable movie of fighting for the same cause in two different ways at the same time...

Author: zsirfecske from Hungary
20 October 2006

I'm so proud of all the Hungarian movie makers, actors, actresses, and sportsmen who took part in the creation of this great film. I've not seen such a flawless screenplay long time ago. It's shocking but glorious, full of emotion, will and act for achieving freedom and victory. Absulutely raises a worthy monument to the memory of the Hungarian revolution and war of independence and its heroes in 1956.

Few days before the 50th anniversary of 23rd October this is the best time to remember and meditate on. That's the reason why I think this film should be seen by everyone, and not just within the borders of Hungary.

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39 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

1956 revolution is not a movie

Author: machineus from Hungary
21 October 2006

First of all as a Hungarian patriot, I honor the makers of this movie (for honoring this event with a movie), and I recommend to see this for all of those, who would like to know a little more of how we suffered during the Soviet regime, but how we took up arms for our freedom, and showed the world that communism is not a historical alternative, rather than a bloody tyranny based upon a thousands of lies. This was truly a great moment of the 20th century worldwide history, and maybe the greatest moment in the whole history of our nation. But remember, the revolution of 1956 is not a movie. This movie intends to display this glorious event fit to Hollywood images, but trust me, it deserves more than that. Maybe you catch this movie than next week you forget it. But we don't and cannot forget, as we thank our whole life and freedom to these Hungarian heroes of 1956. May long live the memory of this revolution and show light to all those who suffer under same conditions!

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28 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Szabadsag Szerelem

Author: lizlowden from United States
3 November 2006

I attended the screening for this movie at the Mann Bruin in Westwood. At the end of the movie I did not want to leave my seat. I wanted more. I am not quite sure what I wanted to see? Perhaps a commentary on the lives of the Water Polo Players? I wanted to know what they did after the game? I wanted to know how their lives turned out? I didn't want the movie to end.

The scenes about the AVO brought back sad memories. It was a brutal organization. My family had first hand experience with them. The movie is a "must see" for anyone, not only Hungarians. The sub-titles were easy to follow for anyone who does not speak the language.

The movie was emotional and especially meaningful to me. I left Hungary in 1956.

October 22, 2007. Does anyone have any idea why this movie is not available anywhere here in the USA? I have purchased 4 DVDs for my family on our recent trip to Hungary, only to find out that we cannot play them on our DVD players (Region 1) It is very disappointing.

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22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

One of the saddest part of Hungarian history made the most remarkable Hungarian film...

Author: (kiralyaniko) from Hungary
25 October 2006

I may not be objective since I'm a Hungarian and a patriot, and especially after the very sad 50th anniversary, this was some kind of relief for me.

First the bad, then the goods... Dobó Kata is the only bad thing happened to this, but she's really bad. I never appreciated her - never saw any movie where she didn't pose in lingerie - but after this I have to say, she has to run around in lingerie because in clothes, there's nothing touching in her, nothing that makes you believe what she says, no emotions on her face whatever. She cannot act, that's it.

But the movie had so many strong appearances and so many talented people behind the cameras, that you easily forget about Dobó.

Iván Fenyö; is no surprise, he's been in the Jake Gyllenhal movie Jarhead before (which I didn't like though), and he can act. He's enjoyable here, not his best and not the best in the movie though.

Károly Gesztesi is phenomenal in his role as the coach, one of the most likable characters here. The other of the greatest performances is brought by Sándor Csányi. He's well-known for his leading role in Kontroll, and he simply outshines everyone here as well. The leading lady - after Dobó's failure - is surely Viki Szávai, Eszter in the movie (Dobó's best friend). She's playing so easily you can believe she's not even playing, it's her true self... I liked the character so much thanks her playing that the loss of her was one of the saddest moments for me though it was almost obvious what has to happen to her.

Vic Armstrong did a great job with what he had... The few tanks and other limitations didn't stop him to recreate what was happening on the streets of Budapest. You'll be scared by thinking it through, it's so real...

Kriszta Goda's second movie direction here makes you need to see the first as well. She did an amazing job here.

After all, I was touched, and touched is such a cliché when talking about this movie and the story behind it.

1956 means something for everyone who has at least a little percentage of Hungarian blood in his/her veins... either you were here afterwards and saw the aftermath, either you live here now as young and have the same needs, feelings for freedom, or you're living abroad and were raised on stories about Hungary and how your family had to live, run through the border while they were shooting at them... Or you've heard about the story, you know someone who's Hungarian. Or even reading about it here, and seeing this movie it'll change you a little bit, in what you think about Hungary. I hope less people will laugh at those cheap jokes by comedians on the US national TV after seeing this little history lesson.

No matter how many stories you've heard it's not like being there and seeing this movie will bring you back as a watcher, you'll understand them more and appreciate them more. After leaving the theater you'll surely believe the people who died on the streets or in the AVO prisons were true heroes. Makes you feel the need to do something patriotic as well...

Thus I hope everyone of you goes out to see it, internationally. After so many touching movies about American history, here's your chance to see how those in the Eastern block struggled and fought for their lives. It's totally different and I hope it'll bring difference.

Wanted to give a 10, but -1 coz of DK.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

An unhappy ending...

Author: Pookyiscute from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary
8 December 2006

To those who are familiar with the end result of this true story, it is certainly not a happy ending. In 1956, Hungary was ruled by communism. Russian communism to be exact, and it was a few brave souls out of thousands, that gave up their lives for a dream - of freedom.

I am an American currently living in Hungary, and I felt very privelged last night, being able to see this film. There I sat in an auditorium, with a theater screen set up, and a projector as well; watching this film in a city of only 13,000, approximately one third of which sat all around me. I felt honored, and very happy to know that I was in this country, watching this film, amongst so many people who were celebrating an event that took place fifty years ago, here in this very country.

The film centers around a water polo team in the year 1956. It was in this year that people began to take up arms. They decided enough was enough. Communism had ruled for far too long by this point - but the tragedy was that it was to remain that way for a much, much longer time. At the end of the second world war, the Russians decided it was their turn to rule Hungary. They took it off the shoulders of the Germans, who had now lost, and Russia was the new Hitler. The star of the film is member of the Hungarian water polo team, and they become finalists in the Olympics that year. From the beginning of the film, until the end - we see the Revolution through the eyes of this young man. How he falls in love with a women, who is one of the leaders of the revolt, and finds himself fighting for his country alongside her.

Though it was a bit slow at times, and it was in Hungarian - it's a film, that in some ways you don't even really need to speak the language to understand. Although I'm semi-fluent in Hungarian, it was still very difficult for me to follow the dialogue. However, you can understand what's happening in the film, without a knowledge of what they're saying. A lot of explosions; fighting; guns; love scenes; and arguments - it's quite apparent most of the time what's going on.

I would say that acting wise -it's a Hungarian made movie. The actors are not the creme of the crop - but certainly better than your average Joe. The direction was brilliant, however. And I was quite amazed by the camera-work - and stage direction. Filmed on location in Budapest (and it's quite obvious), it gives those who have walked down some of the famous streets, and squares, chills down their backs, with the knowledge, that there were protesters and gun play in those places, all those years ago. Now, these streets and squares are famous tourist attractions.

Although I hate to give in to the self-pity most Hungarians carry around with them, I have to admit that the film does make you feel sorry for them as a people. First world war two, and then this. It was as though they were to never catch a break. Which might account for some of their cultural behaviors, even today. The communist mentality still seeping through. It is all apparent in the film, why they go about their ways, the way they do.

It is an interesting film, and a good historical reference. If anyone can find this with English subtitles (or subtitles for whatever language you speak), it might be good to see it, just so you know what actually happened in 1956, and how as much as the Hungarians fought for their freedom, life is not a movie- and the outcome was very realistic. They lost.

A final note. After the film, a lady who was in the car with me on my home, said something that I'll never forget. I mentioned that in the movie, I thought it was funny how someone got so excited, because they'd heard on the radio that the Americans were coming to save them. And, I said...I didn't think that was true, since I don't ever recall the Americans coming to the Hungarians aid. She said softly, and sadly, as though it were my fault, "No. You didn't come. You didn't come." A sad, yet memorable, historical and noteworthy event in world history. And, of course, in Hungarian history.

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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:


Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
31 March 2007

This film is about the uprising of the citizens in Budapest against the Russians in 1956, and the subsequent symbolic water polo match in the 1956 Olympics.

This movie is powerful and words can hardly describe it. From the beginning, the tension between Hungary and USSR is already very visible in the film. Patriotism build up quickly, leading to the uprising of the Hungarians. The initial optimism is portrayed in an effective manner, and the viewers certainly connect wit the characters with their sense of pride and achievement. Though the romance between the leading characters seem to have a weak foundation, the subsequent portrayal is strong. They are willing to risk their own life to protect another.

The plot is told in a precise and direct manner. The shooting scenes are highly graphic, possibly to remind the world what terror they have gone through. The persistence of Viki is remarkable. Her efforts in resisting the Russians is brilliantly portrayed, and viewers get to connect with the uprising through her. On one hand, the promise of a free Hungary drives them forward; but on the other hand, the well equipped USSR army showers them with bullets and grenades that obliterates all hope for a brighter future.

The final water polo match has such a symbolic meaning. Even though the Hungarians are losing the war, they can beat the enemy in other ways. Hope and glory are invested in the water polo team. Through tight editing, the match is so powerful and breathtaking that my heart pumped with every one of their moves.

I particularly find the ending very well done. With the same national anthem, we see the transition from despair in prison to glory in the sports hall. It is such an emotional scene, so intense and so moving.

I completely lost count on how many explosions this film has. In fact I think it must be the film with the most explosion scenes I have ever seen. The budget for this film must have been astronomical.

From my Hungarian friend, the movie is historically accurate. Is it right to die for a glorious cause? As this film points out at one juncture, "He didn't die for the country. He died because he was killed by a machine gun". This film is thought provoking. Are freedom fighters pursuing an impossible dream? Have they given up their lives for nothing? This is an exceptionally powerful film. It is compelling, touching and the most importantly, crystallises the spirit of the humankind's desire for freedom. It easily becomes one of my favourite films in recent years.

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16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

It touched me...

Author: szblajos from Hungary
24 October 2006

This movie gives realistic snapshots, what happened on streets of Budapest in 1956. What people fought for, what people died for. It grabs human destiny by a love story of a young sportsman and a student girl who met first at the start of the revolution. This love story makes the spine of this film, with touching the heart of viewers, in many parts of it.

Maybe I have a soft spot for this movie, because it scened in my mother country. Maybe I could feel more the spirit of heroes who died in streets for their freedom, in that time. I don't know...

But a very strange thing happened after the film ended. Everyone left the cinema room in a complete silence. This has never happened in this cinema yet. Maybe I was not the only person in the room, who's been touched...

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful film

Author: mmhuson from Hungary
18 November 2006

As an American living in Hungary, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and hope that many of my friends living in the states will see it to better understand the Hungarian culture.

As always in a film, there were a few liberties taken with historical facts, but these were not huge and did not destroy the film. It was particularly timely with the riots this year in the streets of Budapest. The courage displayed and the sense of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation made the film especially poignant.

A film worth seeing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in European history, courage, and Hungarians.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Freedom Is the Greatest Gift of All

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
26 September 2008

In Budapest, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 is beginning while the water polo team is training for the Melbourne Olympic Games. The player Karcsi Szabó (Iván Fenyö) meets the revolutionary student leader Viki Falk (Kata Dobó) and they fall in love for each other. When the Soviet force withdraws Budapest, Karcsi decides to rejoin the team and travel to Melbourne to participate in the Olympic Games. However, a larger Soviet force returns and invades Budapest, killing thousands of Hungarians and suppressing the resistance. Meanwhile, Karcsi and his team dispute the "Blood in the Water" match against the Soviets.

"Szabadság, Szerelem" is an impressive movie about two historic facts: the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the "Blood in the Water" match in the Melbourne Olympic Games. The director Krisztina Goda and the writers Joe Eszterhas, Éva Gárdos, Géza Bereményi and Réka Divinyi succeed in promoting the Fiftieth Anniversary of the bloody revolution in his country, unknown for many people, through an engaging and full of emotions movie developed in a perfect pace. The dramatic story uses the romance and chemistry of two charismatic characters performed by Iván Fenyö and the gorgeous Kata Dobó associated to sports, more specifically water polo, and a magnificent team of actors, actresses and stunts, to disclose the foregoing historic events. The cinematography, art decoration and costumes give a wonderful reconstitution of Hungry in the 50's, associated to a stunning and touching soundtrack and great special effects. The story concludes with golden key with the wise message that "freedom is the greatest gift of all". My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Sangue nas Águas" ("Blood in the Water")

Note: On 30 January 2016 I saw this movie again.

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