9.0/10
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36 user 7 critic

Torn from the Flag: A Film by Klaudia Kovacs (2007)

A sociopolitical historical documentary-thriller about the international decline of communism and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

Writers:

Endre Hules, Klaudia Kovacs (story)
Reviews
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
János Berecz János Berecz ... Self
Leonid Brezhnev ... Self (archive footage)
Csaba Békés Csaba Békés
Winston Churchill ... Self (archive footage)
Toth Dr. Emery Toth Dr. Emery ... Self
László Dózsa László Dózsa ... Self
Mikhail Gorbachev ... Self (archive footage)
Árpád Göncz Árpád Göncz ... Self
Gyula Horn Gyula Horn ... Self
Nikita Khrushchev ... Self (archive footage)
Henry Kissinger ... Self
Imre Pozsgay Imre Pozsgay ... Self
Ronald Reagan ... Self (archive footage)
Franklin D. Roosevelt ... Self (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

A sociopolitical historical documentary-thriller about the international decline of communism and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The significant global effects of the Hungarian revolution of 1956

Genres:

Documentary

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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the Tiburon International Film Festival, the film and its cinematographers László Kovács and Zoltán Honti received the Golden Reel Award for Best Cinematography-unheard-of in the documentary genre. See more »

User Reviews

 
A masterly account of a crucial episode in the Cold War
11 November 2007 | by pczipottSee all my reviews

The Hungarian uprising of 1956 was the first time a people spontaneously overthrew a Communist government and successfully attained freedom -- even if only for a dozen days. The complex tale of how it came to be, and what contributed both to its success and to the all too short-lived duration of that success, combines a host of factors ranging from cynical geopolitical calculation to the individual initiatives of private citizens who discovered that they were not, after all, lacking in power. "Torn from the Flag" makes the myriad strands of the story clear -- even to someone unfamiliar with the history -- in its 97 minutes: and that, by itself, makes it an astonishing achievement.

It is, however, a great deal more. It presents a remarkably balanced account of a subject that still excites visceral passions more than half a century after the event. It offers moments of intense (and intensely moving) human connection, as participants relive their political, moral, spiritual, and physical journeys. And, in reels shot during the revolution by two film students -- Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond -- it also offers instants of heart-stoppingly beautiful cinema, even when the images are of conflict, destruction, and death. The editing (reducing more than 90 hours of footage to under 100 minutes, still making it all comprehensible), the music (original scoring complementing a brilliantly chosen array of sources -- not least, using perfectly selected passages from Shostakovich's 11th symphony to complement martial scenes), and, above all, the people who gave of their time and their selves to be interviewed, make this a film to contemplate long, long after the house lights come up.

Nobody should think that this film merely rehashes an old tale of no current relevance: the people of Myanmar and Pakistan (to name just two examples) today face situations similar in many respects to that of Hungary 51 years ago.

Kudos to the indefatigable Klaudia Kovacs and her team for surmounting the odds in a nine-year struggle to complete this effort. The result is eminently worth it.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A lyukas zászló See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Homage to 1956 See more »
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Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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