Szabadság, szerelem (2006) Poster

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A remarkable movie of fighting for the same cause in two different ways at the same time...
zsirfecske20 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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Szabadsag Szerelem
lizlowden3 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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Best movie ever in Hungarian historical topic
cscseli19 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 The Hungarian title "Szabadság szerelem" (in English: Freedom and love) is a historical reference to a poem of Petöfi Sándor, the famous poet and revolutionist of the Hungarian revolution and war of independence of 1848.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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1956 revolution is not a movie
machineus21 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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Gordon-1131 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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One of the saddest part of Hungarian history made the most remarkable Hungarian film...
kiralyaniko25 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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An unhappy ending...
Pookyiscute8 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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Freedom Is the Greatest Gift of All
claudio_carvalho26 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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It touched me...
szblajos24 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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Wonderful film
mmhuson18 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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One of the best Hungarian films
arato1 November 2006
This was a very touching film, especially for such a man as me who was only 4 years old at the 1956 revolution against the communist dictatorship supported by the Soviets. After the conquest of this revolution with the help of Soviets a tragic new dictatorship fell over my fatherland for another 33 years which was full with lying and falsification of history. It was terrible to survive this period. Unfortunately the Western countries did not give any help to overcome the Soviet aggressors, although in their feeling they sympathized with our revolution. This film gives some kind of gratification for all of these sad decades. It clearly shows that the truth and the moral victory was on the side of Hungarian revolutionists. Maybe therefore our present post-communist government is not so pleased with this film because they feel that their predecessors played a very brutal role in our history.
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World-Class Water-Polo
hakapes23 December 2006
Right after I sat down and the initial title came up, flashes from a water polo match attracted my attention, and the story started immediately. Throughout the movie, somehow I never felt that I'm actually in a cinema, and all the two hours went by just like a single moment.

Sometimes, I don't like historical movies, because I know what comes next, but here, I never knew what can come in the following spot. The movie is not a history film, not a documentary, it's the story of Viki (Kata Dobo) and Karcsi (Ivan Fenyo) who fall in love in this fast moving always changing setting. We love the smooth lines of Kata Dobo's face, and we are a fan of her not because of her talent - so no complaints here... however, Ivan Fenyo excels throughout the movie and I'm looking forward a lot seeing his next title. Sandor Csanyi brings his usual very good form.

The movie is very authentic, all spots filmed at the proper real-life original scenes (buildings, streets), with real-life original guns, tanks, costumes. I guess, this movie must reveal a lot of emotions for people who were part of the revolution of Budapest 1956. (Hungarians raised againt the communist dictatorship, but the Red Army occupied the country and steyed in Hungary until 1990.)

As for water-polo scenes, you can expect the best, as all pictures were filmed with the national league of Hungarian water-polo players, a World #1 team!

This is a must see for water-polo fans, for people in Central-European studies and all those who have a Hungarian relative. Or see it just for the beautiful surroundings of Budapest. :-)
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Feels like a Hollywood movie
ecmelton-186-10504912 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Even if a person generally dislikes foreign movies, they could still enjoy Children of Glory because if feels very much like an American film, and it leans very heavily on familiar archetypes to tell the story. For example, the protagonist is a very typical movie hero who is initially reluctant to join the rebellion but ends up being thrust into the conflict and then heroically supports the cause because he realizes that it is a noble effort. He has an annoying little brother that idolizes him and wants to be more grown up until emulating his brother gets him into trouble, and he realizes that he just wants to be a kid. He has overbearing mother and relates more to his grandfather who seems to have the sensibilities of a much younger man, in that he supports the youth-led rebellion. Karcsi and best friends have a falling out, but reconcile by the end of the movie, and the film's love interest initially dislikes Karcsi but they develop a romance over an unrealistically short period of time. These are all elements straight out of a Hollywood movie. An average person could watch this film without subtitles or any prior knowledge of the Hungarian Revolution and still easily follow the story because they've seen it so many times before in other popular revolutionary movies like V for Vendetta or Braveheart.

These familiar elements could also work to the films detriment. If a person was expecting a more subtle and stereotypically "artsy" European film, they might think this movie is too cliché, and that may be a fair criticism. Nothing in the movie is really surprising. Everything plays out exactly as you would expect, but that doesn't detract from the emotional core of the movie. Although the movie's themes of oppression and freedom are treated the way they are in most films, they still feel very effective and emotionally stirring. The characters are portrayed well enough that the viewer wants them to succeed and is invested in their story. Even if some of the things happening around them are a little cliché, you still want to follow them on their journey and see where it takes them.

The film is set in 1956, but this is not the fruitful post WWII, baby boomer 1950s that America was experiencing. Hungary looks much more impoverished under Soviet rule. It seems more like the 1930s or 1940s where there was an economic depression or strict rationing. It's clear that even before it became a war zone, Hungary was not doing very well during this time.

The film itself opens with a water polo tournament that establishes the Russians as Karcsi's rivals and sets up the tension between the Soviet Union and the countries that it controlled. The Hungarians do not like the Russians, and the Russians seem to view the Hungarian team with disdain. In the locker room the tension explodes into a fist fight the same way the tension would explode into a full blown revolution later in the movie. This is reminiscent of a lot of athletic movies that use the featured sport as a microcosm for society so social issues can be explored on a smaller scale. Remember the Titans used football the explore segregation and racial integration, and Children of Glory uses Olympic water polo to explore rebellion and Soviet oppression is Central Europe.

Aside from Karcsi the other main character and protagonist was Viki, a leader in the student protests that would turn into the Hungarian revolution. She is the reason Karcsi becomes involved in the revolution, as he is romantically pursuing her when the protests turn violent, and he gets caught up in the action. She's a more competent member of revolution than Karcsi, and her authority seems to carry a lot of weight in the rebellion. She is often shown being in charge of large groups of people, whereas Karcsi doesn't know what he's doing a lot of the time and begins the movie willfully ignorant about the protests and learns about what's going on along with the audience. While Karcsi is depicted as the primary protagonist, Viki is clearly the "hero" of the film. She often is often the only person willing to stand by her convictions and not give up on her cause, motivating the other rebels in the process.

The violence in the move is graphic in a very effective way. Gunfire is significantly louder than the rest of the audio, and when people get shot with higher caliper guns, parts of their bodies explode where the bullets hit them, sometimes exposing the bone underneath. This is especially graphic because the first shot hits a defenseless older woman. The Soviets have the Hungarians significantly out-gunned, so the battles result in a lot of Hungarians being killed, including bystanders and people not directly involved in the revolution. This heightens the threat of the Soviets as not only oppressors, but also murders. While there are relatively few battle scenes in the movie, when they do occur, it feels like there's a lot at stake. The threat of violence is never treated lightly and has dire consequences for the characters and for Hungary.

Children of Glory is an extremely accessible film about the ideas of freedom, oppression, and patriotism. It sheds light on a historic event most Americans don't know about, and most importantly it tells a compelling story.
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Children of Glory
random_avenger11 September 2010
Water polo in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics was more than just sports to Hungarians whose country was just going through an anti-Soviet uprising that was subsequently violently crushed by the Soviets when the Games were about to begin: in the pool, the small country was able to show to the world that they hadn't lost their national pride and power despite the oppression by their huge occupier. Written by Joe Eszterhas (of Basic Instinct fame) among others, Krisztina Goda's film is set shortly before the Olympics when the Hungarian water polo team is preparing for the tournament amidst political unrest in Budapest. The team's star player Karcsi Szabó (Iván Fenyö) is looking forward to his big chance to shine in the eyes of the world, but has to rethink his attitudes upon meeting a beautiful anti-Communist student activist Viki Falk (Kata Dobó). Being associated with her cause in public might cost him his position in the team, but he soon understands that closing his eyes from the country's problems is no longer an option.

The style of the film is as Hollywoodesque as can be: the constantly playing music by Nick Glennie-Smith ranges from bombastic to sentimental, always carefully following the conventions of epic movie scores. The plot is also somewhat predictable and includes all the scenes one expects to find in a classical war cinema: tragic deaths, recklessly brave resistance battles against almost indestructible enemy tanks, a woman crying over a dead body on a street and an oh-so-romantic "artistic" sex scene between the lead couple whose fragile romance blossoms despite the turmoil everywhere. However, the big budget also shows in good ways; the sets, props and costumes look authentic and the explosion-heavy action scenes are well created and directed. I also liked the brownish and bluish tones of the cinematography and the visual style in general.

Despite the athletic-sounding premise, the movie is not really a sports film as water polo is only played at the beginning and the end. The main purpose of the film has obviously been to commemorate the brave nation's patriotic efforts during the revolution and to remind audiences that war spectacles are not Hollywood's prerogative only. While the team's story is worth telling, I think the overall style is way too obvious in its emotional manipulation, and the general heavy-handedness hurts the film's chances to work as a truly affecting piece of cinema. On the surface it's an enjoyable war film though and can be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
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A Nutshell Review: Children of Glory
DICK STEEL15 July 2008
Nobody likes to be cheated against in sports, especially so when participating in national level events, and worse, having a supposedly neutral referee awarding dubious decisions that work against your favour, even if it's clear cut they're either receiving some kickbacks, or are genuinely blind. To the Hungarian water-polo team playing against their occupiers the Soviet Union in the 1950s, it meant bowing to rough tactics and having no respite at all.

Perhaps what took me by surprise, is how rich the production values are for this movie. Like films set against an historical backdrop, such as Black Book, Lust, Caution and the likes, Children of Glory never scrimped at fleshing out the masses who got themselves involved in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, where a simple protest in a university spiralled into armed resistance involving thousands marching through the streets, showing their dissatisfaction of mistreatment by the Russians, and the usual chants of "Russians Go Home!".

While on a macro level it introduced us to the era of Soviet occupation in most of the eastern Europe bloc, this is essentially also a love story, between a national hero of a water polo player Karcsi Szabo (Ivan Fenyo) and student activist Viki Falk (Kata Dobo). Naturally their relationship doesn't start off smoothly, with a clash of ideals given that Karcsi is in a privileged position for his value to the country in sports, and having more to lose if the status quo is changed. For Viki, it's change that she, and her fellow student leaders, want to initiate, no matter how small their actions are, but soon enough, it became a hydra that went out of control, giving them a little victory, before the big sledgehammer of a retaliation when any typical authoritarian regime respond with their military might.

I guess with those in power, and having those who privilege themselves under such conditions, change will always seem threatening, be it to current lifestyles, or fear for their lives. It might appear selfish as demonstrated by Karcsi's mother in self preservation, constantly reminding Karcsi of his duty to win medals for his country, and not to mix with negative influences such as Viki, associated with trouble for her bearing of arms, and being part of the inner circle of the change movement. But we know love can't keep these two apart, right?

What made Children of Glory a delight, was besides the scenes of historical value, and its recreation of street battles, it had possibly the first water-polo sports game in a movie I had watched, and filmed it with plenty of excitement that you can't help but to cheer the Hungarian team on as they battle for pride, and for their countrymen's struggles back home, as they meet arch nemesis Russia during the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games, resulting in what was a bloody match in the pool. I thought this segment was very well shot, though you had to really sit through the film to be rewarded for a segment toward the finale.

Wonderful acting, rich costumes and sets, together with a blend of history to lend some narrative gravitas, make Children of Glory an excellent movie on many fronts. I like it enough for it to make it to my highly recommended list, and contender for the top 10 movies of the year list.
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An important movie to understand us
geekgirl91124 October 2007
I liked this movie not just because it shows an important part of our history, but because it helps others (non Hungarians) to understand us better. I even liked that the movie follows the typical Hollywood building schema which helps the North American population to get into the mood easier and follow the plot. I agree the actors were not always at the top of their game, but this is something easy to overlook with the excellent story leading and the world class visual effects. For me the most important part was the ending of the movie, when the Hungarian national anthem plays (pictures showing to very different places) and I turned to my friend (who is a born Canadian) watching the movie with me: "You can understand now, why we have tears in our eyes when our national-anthem plays... And he understood.
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Great movie!
msturgill30 April 2007
Szabadsag, szerelem was a wonderful cinematic experience. I though it was visually stirring. There is something for everyone, sports, war, a love story.... It was especially good to see some recent history made into film. It was even-handed politically and I feel it is a must see for everyone! I recently read James Michner's book on the 1956 revolution, so I was pleased to see the movie following the historical accounts very closely. The water polo matches were very believable and incredibly filmed from all angles! I have only seen water polo on TV during the Olympics, but these scenes were gripping. I wondered if the actors were real water polo players. I don't understand why this sport is not more popular in the US. It is fast paced and very grueling physically. Please make a point to see this movie
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involving the ethics of sports
wvisser-leusden2 November 2009
'Szabadsag Szerelem' sets an old theme in an original setting: a love caught in the fire of revolution, against a ... water-polo scenery.

Truly original is the serious dealing with some ethics of sports. This film confronts us with questions like 'am I serving my country better by participating in the revolution, or by winning a gold medal at the Olympic games?' Or: 'am I a traitor to my team when I stay in Budapest to fight the Russians?'. Another one: 'do I have a moral obligation to those team-mates for whom water-polo is all they have?'.

Apart from this, 'Szabadsag Szerelem' reminds me of the famous 'Dr. Zhivago' from the mid-Sixties. However, I guess this is easy to say for someone without any emotional ties with Hungary. For those who have, I gather that watching this film still can evoke pretty strong emotions.
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Excellent portrayal of a fascinating revolution
beadle-17 December 2008
I feared this film highlighting one the most dramatic events in modern history would be hampered by bare stage sets and other shortcomings resulting from short funding in Hungary, or the portrayal of events would be marred by national self-pity. It turned out to be nothing short of a well-balanced, historically correct film that arouses great curiosity about what went on in the streets of Budapest (and elsewhere in Hungary) in October and November 1956, and in my mind provokes enormous sympathy for the Hungarian civilians at the time, and the country in general.

Director Kata Dobo has had every good reason to use certain elements familiar to commercial "western" films. It is an important story that should reach a wider audience. Far too many probably know little or nothing about these events. The Olympic games and the need for love are parallel stories in the film which we all understand, and yet are not melodramatic.

This leaves us to grasp just what the turmoil of revolution, secret police reprisals and finally the deaf ear of "the West" was about. I can imagine the Hungarians involved in making this film have put their souls into it. The least we can do is to listen this time to what they have to say. The film once over, I can't imagine anyone not getting the message.

It is inevitable that a film portraying a revolution without the massive (and often excessive) funding of "western" films, can only show examples of key ingredients - the Molotov cocktails, conviction and doubt, Russian brutality, divided loyalties, chaotic emergency services, daredevil teenagers, family divisions, honesty and deception. These true aspects come across not only sufficiently, but well, especially one of the most noteworthy of them: the women at the forefront of the fighting.

The modest colouring is in tact with the time, and the mood. The observer is carried from one realistic scene to the another as quickly as the bewildering swiftness of the revolution must have unfolded at the time.

At the time, in fear of making the cold war colder, the leaders of the West, with President Eisenhower at the top of the list, support for the Hungarian cry for freedom was shamefully guarded, but as the scenes from the Melbourne Olympics demonstrated, public opinion was not unguarded. This film presents an excellent opportunity for some to recall what really happened in Hungary in 1956, for others a first insight. Luckily the jury of the Berlin international film festival seized the opportunity.
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Another Kind of Revolution - Great Depiction of History
shashankca14 May 2017
Though the message in the movie looks simple, it is one of the most intense movies I have ever seen which is based on a revolution for freedom. It is a true masterpiece, which shows how a sport can ignite the passion for freedom. The spirit can be tamed for a while but the instinct cannot be killed.
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The Film could have included at the end that the players could or did not return to Hungary and what they did and where they are today.
pandvmann6 September 2011
The film ends at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne but it would have been better if it went on to name the Hungarian Water Polo team (including the coach) and disclose how some of the players could not return to Hungary as they were classed as Freedom Fighters.After the Olympics two of the players came to Western Australia and both captain coached individual water polo sides Anton Bolvari coached Melville and Imrie Tacosh coached Fremantle.

It should be noted that these two people improved the standard of Australian Water Polo and should be named as honorable members in the Australian Sports Hall of Fame for the development work they did.

I would like to know where both Anton and Imrie are today and if they have since returned to their home land of Hungary.Perhaps somebody out there knows the full story and would be kind enough to let me know.
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Weak screenplay, shocking dialogue
blu-1623 November 2006
I love the idea of making a movie to honor 56 and i also love making the story accessible to worldwide audiences. I think the film was executed beautifully, the sets, the costumes, the props, everything fit perfectly, so no problem there.

I think the acting was also generally good, Csanyi never disappoints, Gesztesi comes through as always, etc. However, the two lead characters could have done a better job - both Fenyo and Dobo have a difficult time conveying emotions. Fenyo usually looks like a bored android and Dobo - well, whatever.

The biggest problem is the inane writing. The plot is just a cheap TV-movie template, predictable, clichéd and often gratuitous. What's even worse is the dialogue. It's comic-book level, sometimes even worse. I was at the point of leaving the theatre after several badly written lines that would have looked out of place even in a high-school essay.

Anyways, go see it for the pictures and for the great background story, if you are not familiar with Hungary's shining moment in 20th century history. But don't expect profound entertainment or a thrilling story.

As often, history is the best playwright. Too bad the human ones didn't live up to the job.
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Joan of Arc meets Die Hard 14
VoiceOfEurope2 May 2007
Children of Glory is supposed to render not just an utterly important event in Hungarian history but also how life tasted in an era of exasperation and unrest. Krisztina Goda's shameful piece succeeds in either of them. While watching the movie my feeling was that this could have been the feeble attempt of a low-rated American director to make a low-cost historical/action flick to be given away as extra DVD supplement of a cheap magazine. An attempt to make something he (or in this case she) has only read a few interesting columns about into a 120-minute feature film. It is also a shame on producer Andy Vajna to have discredited the suicidal courage of the revolutionists by applying his „how-to-make-a-stupid-action-packed-blockbuster" kit while putting Children of Glory together. Sets are inexplicably false, lighting perversely attitudinizing and unrealistic. But what makes me want to cry out loud is that dailogs are entirely out of place, crammed with American common places and hip-hop age jargon that sound more ridiculous than a herd of hippos singing psalms to Billie Jane's melody. And they are cheesy. I am indignant. My only relief is Sandor Csanyi's reliable acting. Not much.
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Easy and enjoyable presentation of historic event
jozsefbiro14 January 2008
Well, this is the Hollywood style movie about the Hungarian '56 revolution. Correct story and correct acting, but nothing revolutionary ;-). Still, I would say we occasionally need such popular, spectacular but easy films about major events of our history. They touch the people' heart (especially the younger generations) and convey an important message about our history and our nation: namely that there are events in our history we should be proud of. This is especially important in a country where lot of the people are indifferent or even cynical about our national identity and heritage. (And to make things worse, lot of other people are overly proud of it, but that's another problem...)
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Nice idea, could have made a better film
mhettmann26 March 2007
Unfortunately I can't see any unbiased reviews on the film as everyone making a comment has something to do with Hungary, and it's not different in my case either as I was brought up in Budapest, although a bit later, in the '90s.

It is an interesting part of European history, and the film is doing a good job representing it. The story line, however, is very weak. It simply has too many elements trying too hard to make the film popular (sport references, romantic touch, etc). Basically, '56 did not happen in Hollywood. Acting is great, except the main female character played by Dobo. This might have been a bit too difficult task for her.

I would probably not like this film at all if I had no connection with Hungary.
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