The Nazis have invaded Hungary and war is raging in the main cities. To avoid it, a woman leaves her thirteen-year-old twin boys at their grandmother's place in the countryside. The children don't know their grandmother, a dirty, miserly, and mean old woman who barely allows them inside the house. Left to their own devices, the two children learn to cope with hunger, the cold, and the everyday cruelty in a devastated country. To protect themselves, the twins reject all moral codes and values and instead take their lessons from the evil around them in order to try to survive. The siblings studiously note, as objectively as possible, their discoveries and their burgeoning knowledge in a notebook.Written by
Official submission of Hungary for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 86th Academy Awards in 2014. The film made the shortlist of the last 9 films, but was not nominated. See more »
An European answer to P. Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment
The Hungarian film directors are often consumed up in photography and do not care of the story. Thanks God, not here. Agota Kristof's Le Grand Cahier has such a strong storyline that it cannot be destroyed. However attempt to do so can be detected here.
I hope that after a while all directors learn that a book itself is not a script, they can use movie to tell the story, even leaving out some key elements of the book.
Some scenes cry that were shot on the same streets, same interiors.
But this is it, that's why I gave only 8/10, as the film works. It takes you to a journey where you forget your soda and popcorn and step out to the real word afterward a bit changed. You know that it can happen. As in the summary, the circumstances can bring out the evil from everyone. Even 10 year old boys. We know this since the Lord of the Flies, but it is good to be remembered to it from time to time...
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