Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Relatives. HU 2006. D: István Szabó. Based on the novel by Zsigmond Móricz (1932). DP: Lajos Koltai. CAST: Sándor Csányi (István Kopjáss), Ildikó Tóth (Lina Szentkálnay), Károly Eperjes (Soma Kardics), Erika Marozsán (Magdaléna Szentkálnay), Oleg Tabakov (Mayor), Jiri Menzel (Mr. Menzel). 110 min. A Filmunio (Budapest) print with English subtitles screened at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 12 May 2009. - Szabó's latest film was seen for the first time in Finland in the presence of the master. - In his introduction, István Szabó told us about the significance of the novel in Hungarian culture, of his long and uninterrupted collaboration with the cinematographer Lajos Koltai since Bizalom, and of the continuing significance of the Hungarian classic tale of nepotism and corruption. - This is a bitterly satirical tale of corruption. A young attorney accepts the post of the prosecutor in a small but wealthy community near Budapest, where all business is gradually revealed to be tainted with corruption. The attorney's wife is concerned and reminds her husband that also honest business exists. She is worried about her husband's interest in buying an expensive villa. It turns out that there is not a single tile in it that is not tainted with crime. The film mixes drama, satire, and comedy, and ends in tragedy. The actors are great, for instance Sándor Csányi and the two leading ladies, Ildikó Toth and Erika Marozsán. - After the screening, several Hungarian friends stated that it's still like that.

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