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Little Vilma - The Last Diary
(Kisvilma - Az utolsó napló)
(1999, feature, 35mm, colour, 115 min.)
Director of photography:
New Dialog Film Studio
Little Vilma is the last piece of the Diaries. It takes us to the world of children. It speaks about the events preceding the Diary-trilogy. The film takes place in Kirghizia, a very particular mountain region on the Soviet-Chinese border. Many left-wing intellectuals from Europe went there in the thirties. Márta Mészáros’s father was among them. László Mészáros was a sculptor, who was unjustly arrested and executed during the 1937–38 Stalinist purges. The relationship between mother and child, and the mother herself are the focal points of the film. The foreigners’ wives were left alone with their children after the arrest. They are far away from Europe, far from their families – and they can’t leave. When Germany attacks the Soviet Union their situation gets even worse. They are treated like enemies and their fate is hardship and humiliation. They try to stay alive and keep their children alive too. The director introduces us to lovely and beautiful young women. They’re in love, or jealous and have complicated relationships with each other. The special atmosphere of the film comes from the gorgeous surroundings of this fantastic region. All the harrowing scenes take place there, so in spite of all the sufferings and tragedy, childhood seems to be magical. The basic experience of the children is the love of their parents and that gives them lifelong strength that nobody can take away. Three seasons of life meet in the film in a very specific way: childhood, womanhood and old age. The film isn’t linear; the present interrupts the story every once in awhile as old Vilma (the director’s alterego) remembers her mother and her own childhood.