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Mannheim International Film Festival
Ecumenical Jury's Prize
(1995, feature, 35mm, colour, 81 min.)
Director of photography:
Miklós Székely B.
A few years ago János Erdélyi and Dezső Zsigmond made a documentary about a shocking case after the fall of the 1956 revolution: a man sentenced to death is hidden by his family in a pit under a duck-house for years. This is the dramatic but real situation that inspired József Balázs to write the balladlike piece of fiction served as a basis for this film. The family lives in constant fear of retaliation: a careless word or gesture may cause a tragedy for all of them. In the monotonous flow of time the only memorable moments are the ones that push them further on the verge of peril. A silent observer, the Customs Officer not only enters the family's life but gets entrapped in it through his love for the Woman, who is both attracted and repulsed by his desire. The contradiction born it their fate is irreconcilable. Not even the unexpected amnesty can undo the past.