A strange film employing old home movies and newly shot footage in an effort to expose one Hungarian family and their mutiple problems from the 1940s to current. Narrated by James Ellroy, ...
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A strange film employing old home movies and newly shot footage in an effort to expose one Hungarian family and their mutiple problems from the 1940s to current. Narrated by James Ellroy, Stan Brakhage, and Dr. Roy Menninger.Written by
I first came across a reference to this film last year on James Ellroy's website. It sounded intriguing, and I awaited it's release with great anticipation. I was, however, quite disappointed. What we have here is some grainy home movie footage intercut with some specious analysis by Ellroy, the late Dr. Roy Menninger, and the late Stan Brakhage, commenting upon some questionable goings-on among members of the Locsei family in Hungary after WWII. Filmmaker Meade tracks down the siblings in the film (Erno and Etruska) for their comments. This is where 'dreadful' begins: Erno is a mentally disabled, unwashed alcoholic; we are treated to several scenes of him drinking wine the filmmakers have provided to secure his cooperation, long stretches of untranslated Hungarian, and a charming scene of urination in a field. Sister Etruska has her home broken into by the filmakers. We watch her shielding her face from the camera while she repeatedly demands they not invade her privacy. I cannot imagine the cruelty, or at least indifference, that would motivate anyone to pursue this material, much less offer it up for public consumption.
I have viewed other user comments to this film, and appear to be in the minority. But if you like films about disturbed individuals, I suggest Errol Morris' MR DEATH instead.
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