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1945

(Hungarian, with English subtitles): World War II has ended on the continent. As residents of a tiny village in Hungary prepare for a wedding, two Orthodox Jewish men, father and son, enter town on the train with two boxes noted to contain perfumes. They begin their journey toward town. Their arrival forces the villagers to confront their history with the war. This is a really well-crafted film. It is shot in black and white, giving you the feeling of the era. The cinematography is interesting –there are wide panorama shots alternated with close-ups of the villagers that help tell their story. The movie is very psychological; each of the villagers has to deal with this event in his or her own way, and the end doesn’t allow for easy answers. The movie feels a bit like “High Noon” in the way music is used and how the tension builds slowly to the climax. The ending is perfect and unexpected. Thumbs up for a film that provides a very different and compelling take on the impact of the Holocaust.

About Gary Burkholder

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