Ferenc Török in post-production with 1945
by Fabien Lemercier
- In this film produced by Katapult, a Hungarian village is forced to face up to its “ill-gotten gains” from the Second World War
After the trilogy made up of Moscow Square (2001), Eastern Sugar (2004) and Overnight [+see also:
film profile] (2007), which were then followed up with Istanbul and No Man's Island (presented as a world premiere at the Hungarian Film Week last year), Ferenc Török has been in post-production with his sixth feature, 1945, since last month. The cast includes Peter Rudolf (best known as the actor-director of the Glass Tiger trilogy), Eszter Nagy-Kalozy (Inheritance), Tamas Szabo Kimmel (Made in Hungaria, The Ambassador to Bern), Dora Sztarenki and Bence Tasnadi.
Adapted by Török and Gábor T Szántó from the short story Homecoming (written by the latter), the story kicks off in the summer of 1945, as the preparations are being made for a wedding in a Hungarian village. Arpad, the son of the influential town clerk, Istvan Szentes, is to marry Kisrozsi, the former fiancée of his friend, Jancsi. Everyone believed that Jancsi had been killed on the frontline, but he has finally returned home as a communist tasked with redistributing lands. However, Istvan, who had been a “substitute father” to half-orphan Jancsi, hopes that the previous status quo in the village can be maintained. It has to be said that in addition to helping Arpad to find a suitable wife, he has also acquired the drugstore of his Jewish friend, Pollak, who had already been denounced and taken away before the deportations began. Many of the locals are also indebted to Istvan because he was the one who distributed the confiscated possessions of the deported Jews amongst them. Amidst the wedding preparations, two Orthodox Jews arrive at the village train station with mysterious boxes. Their coming upsets the order of things, with some people fearing that they will have to give back their "ill-gotten gains" and others worrying that more survivors may come. In some of them, murderous thoughts arise, but others are filled with remorse.
Produced by Ivan Angelusz and Peter Reich for Katapult Film, 1945 was shot from 22 July to 5 September. The feature is being co-produced by the Hungarian Film Fund (which will also handle the international sales) and by Claims Conference (New York).
(Translated from French)