6.7/10
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The Forgotten Faces (1961)

An amateur short film which retells the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

Director:

Peter Watkins

Writer:

Peter Watkins
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Roy Michael Roy
John Newing John Newing
Stan Mercer Stan Mercer
Irene Mallard Irene Mallard
John Lawrence John Lawrence
Alan Pope Alan Pope
Angela Williams Angela Williams
Eve Hopper Eve Hopper
Roger Caltham Roger Caltham
Nick Evans Nick Evans
Geraldine Roy Geraldine Roy
Joan Tilke Joan Tilke
Frances Mercer
Irene Cooper Irene Cooper
Roy Todd Roy Todd
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Storyline

An amateur short film which retells the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Drama | History | War

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A forradalom arcai See more »

Filming Locations:

Canterbury, Kent, England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

Playcraft Film Unit See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Despite The Conflated Politics A Memorable Amateur Film
7 April 2014 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Say what you like about Peter Watkins but you can never accuse his work of being uninteresting . This early piece is of am almost forgotten chapter of post war European history that of The Hungarian uprising against Soviet rule in 1956 . Now this seems like a strange choice of subject matter for Watkins since his anti-war politics are very well known but this alone should intrigue a potential audience . Doubly so since it's " an amateur production " .where with the exception of Watkins himself no one involved in the production were professional film makers .This extends to the cast themselves and the film was shot in Kent

According to Watkins official website he was influenced by Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups and not as one might expect the Italian Neo Realists . One can't help thinking that despite not mentioning him Watkins might very well have been influenced by the great Andrzej Wajda and these Hungarian revolutionaries mirror those of the Warsaw uprising in KANAL . You can almost hear " These tragic heroes . Watch them in their last remaining hours of their lives " and the audience knows who side to take . These Hungarians are freedom fighters oppressed by Soviet rule so it doesn't really matter if they execute captured policemen because all's fair in love and war . Strange then that the film ends with the narration that:

" "There has to be a right and wrong in any human conflict. This most tragic of revolutions can be no exception. But in any conflict between two major creeds, one of which you believe in, there has to be a final taking of sides. And if those who happened to believe - as these Hungarian freedom fighters believed - had also taken a strong moral stand on their behalf at a time when it most mattered, then it is more than likely that more than 20,000 of these people need not have given their lives or their liberty for this belief."

Sorry but I don't understand the point being made here ? Putting it in to historical perspective at the same time The Hungarian Uprising happened Britain , France and Israel were involved in invading Egypt to gain control of the Suez Canal and the eyes of the World were on this intervention rather than in Eastern Europe . America did all it could in ending that crisis by severe political and diplomatic coercion against these three nations . It couldn't use that same coercion against the Soviet Union because the USSR was a superpower with no dependency on America . The only option would have been military intervention on Hungary's behalf and that would have started World War Three and considering Watkins most famous work is the Oscar winning THE WAR GAME I doubt if that's what he's advocating so the political message seems slightly confused and seems to be having a dig at the Western democracies rather than where the fault lies - Stalinist socialism

That said for an amateur film it's a quantum step forward from Watkins previous short film DIARY OF AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER . Truth be told it's also superior from a directorial view point as some of his later work that relies far too heavily on close up . Here Watkins employs a good mix of medium and long shots too and you'd never believe that it was shot in the English Home counties . There is a slight annoyance that on screen movement seems slightly exaggerated but again you have to remember this is amateur film making which is very effective and poignant


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