Márta Mészáros directs Kati Kovacs, Teri Horvath and Juhász Jácint in this Hungarian youth drama where an orphan reaches adulthood and visits the mother who abandoned her at their farm.
A pleasing message in the bottle from Eastern Europe’s recent past. Melancholy, hip, sensitive. A lonely young adult experiences rural life and glimpses the frozen-in-time world her mother must have lived in when she was her age. What is fascinating is Mészáros then shows us the single girl returning to her lonely life as a factory worker in Budapest and just how much is the same. Rip-off Beatles bands play bastardised pop hits about freedom, boys want girls for one thing only getting romantic once rejected, money controls even small interactions like swimming wild or meeting a stranger for lunch. This isn’t a spectacular film, not even particularly cohesive, but it has stayed with me over the last week. The well composed wide shots giving way ever so occasionally to impactful moving close-ups, the minimalist storytelling that hints at meaningful depths. An enigmatic ending. I might retry this soon if the effect proves lasting. Modest but emotionally mature.
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