Insofar as Last Report on Anna dramatizes the ideas and individuals which endured the Iron Curtain, from its onset until its dismantling, it cannot help but be a film about politics.
The story begins against the backdrop of the Soviet empire’s collapse and the imminent liberalization of the Eastern bloc in 1989. Péter wants to explain a few political complications of his youth to his nephew before said nephew hears them from someone else. Well, one complicated bit in particular: how is it he came to be an informant reporting on the most beloved spokesperson against Kádár and the Soviet regime, the exiled Anna (based on the historical personage of Anna Kéthly)?
Péter was a literary professor, chosen by the government because his family ties with Anna would help him to carry out the government’s bidding: convincing her to return to Hungary so that she might see for herself (and by her presence demonstrate) the supposed openness of the regime. Having convinced himself that the communist government had actually changed for the better and further tempted by the offer of a precious passport and the world it might open up, he accepts.
Péter’s tenure as an informant is a rocky one, and actor Ernõ Fekete’s just manages to imbue him with the degree dreamy distraction and misguided idealism necessary to make the character sympathetic. Enikö Eszenyi is perhaps too young for the role of Anna except in flashback but somehow manages to be convincing as the exiled figurehead of hope whose homesickness threatens her resolve. Last Report on Anna is most of all in a loving evocation of both sides of the Iron Curtain in the 1970s, and the individual negotiations of that divided landscape complicated by politics and romance.
The Last Report on Anna screens October 13, 14 and 17.
By Steven Pate in Arts & Events on October 11, 2010