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Lagów International Film Festival
Diamond Grapes Prize
Berlin International Film Festival
European Film Academy
Félix Prize for Best European Screenplay - István Szabó,
Nominated for Best European Actress - Johanna Ter Steege
Roma Independent Film Festival
"Silver String" Prize of Italian Film Critics Association for Best European Film Director
Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe
(Édes Emma, drága Böbe)
(1991, feature, colour, 81 min.)
Director of photography:
Objektív Film Studio
Manfred Durniok Production
Johanna Ter Steege
Emma and Böbe are two country girls, they were teaching Russian in the former regime in one of the primary school in the capital.
The change of the history, the change of the system swept away the obligation of learning Russian, so that they could go on teaching, they attend an evening course of English and next morning they start teaching the children their newly-obtained knowledge.
They can't efford an own flat or renting a room on their salary, so they have been living in hostel for teachers, sharing one room for seven years, likewise those 300 other teachers living in similar circumstances.
To establish acceptable material conditions Emma goes out cleaning at well-to-do families. Böbe picks up foreigners in bars for some dinner invitation.
Emma is in love with the school director, their affair has been going on for a year, but the man is married with children, he won't divorce, so the "liaison" is rather hopeless for Emma.
The story tells us about Emma and Böbe's struggle for survival, for retaining their social position, that they could establish with very hard work during the former system. They don't want to "slide down", to live as country girls again.
Böbe gets in trouble with the police because of illegal prostitution, then she commits suicide. Emma continues her struggle alone, suffering from the lack of love and faith.