A young Hungarian girl struggles to find her place in the world when she's reunited with her parents in the USA years after she was left behind during their flight from the communist country in the 1950s.
In 1950, a Hungarian couple, Peter and Margit, are forced to flee from the oppressive communist country for the USA with their eldest daughter Maria, but are forced to leave behind their infant daughter Suzanne who is raised by kindly foster couple. 6 years later, Peter and Margit arrange for the American Red Cross to bring Suzanne to their new home in Los Angeles where the perplexed youth is forced to accept her sudden change in home and country which leads to a troubled growing up. At age 15, the rebellious and unsure-of-herself Suzanne tries to come to terms with her roots and decides to travel back to Budapest, Hungary to find her true identity.Written by
American Rhapsody was the 1998 grand prize winner of the Hartley-Merrill International Screenwriting Competition. See more »
A graffiti slogan in Hungary emphasized in the film that reads "Le az Amerika Imperializmussal!" ("Down with American Imperialism") is accurate only for the 1950s, but not the setting of the film in the 1960s when Hungary became more liberal and anti-American and anti-Imperialism public slogans became more rarer. See more »
Do you know what your father and I had to go through...
Suzanne - at 15:
Yeah, I know, you- you walked 20 kilometers and you- you climbed under barbed wire, right? Yeah, I know.
You don't know anything.
See more »
After the film is a black and white picture of Éva Gárdos with her parents circa 1955. See more »
I saw "American Rhapsody," last night; it's the first film by a 50-ish Hungarian-born female filmmaker. It's features an amazing, personal, story of the early Cold War-era immigration to America of a Hungarian family, and it was really incredibly done. We love Scarlett Johansson ("Ghost World"), who plays the 15-year-old, but the girl who plays the lead character at age 6 is one of the most loveable child actresses ever, Nastassia Kinski as the mother is great, Tony Goldwyn, as the dad, is good, the pair who play the Hungarian rural couple (especially the man) are fantastic. Hungary and Budapest too play a key role. The movie will sicken you, somewhat, about the America-in-the-early-60s mentality (sicken you because you know how much a part of all of us it is). As one reviewer said, this is no State Department-backed immigration story. And it will make you fall in love with the Hungarian countryside. It's a terrific movie-going experience. I cried several times throughout.
Because of how little marketing and buzz the movie has generated, I fear it will come and go in a flash; that's why I issue this appeal.
By the way, don't go expecting great filmmaking techniques and perfect direction; it's her first movie and mistakes were made. But the experience, if you go in the right frame of mind, is great. It's in English.
24 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this