Dénes Nagy’s riveting drama follows a lieutenant in a Hungarian special unit as he hunts partisans in occupied Soviet Union during the Second World War.
Sára László, Marcell Gerö
Ferenc Szabó, Tamás Garbacz, László Bajkó
Hungary-Latvia-Germany-France 2021. 103min
With English subtitles
Nagy won the Best Director award at the Berlinale for this remarkable debut, superbly photographed by Tamás Dobos. Its relatively simple story recounts the relations between the Hungarian occupying force and a local village, with Lieutenant Semetka an unwilling participant. Filmed in Latvia, its cast of Hungarian and Latvian non-actors is entirely persuasive. There is little dialogue, with Nagy’s camera concentrating on faces – especially that of the expressive Ferenc Szabó as Semetka. The action takes place against a claustrophobic forest landscape and the horrors of war mostly unfold off-screen. An impressive debut in terms of style, the film is also a profound and disturbing portrait of trauma that sets it alongside Elem Klimov’s Come and See and Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird.
This film contains flashing images.
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