Zoltan Fabri Retrospective | The Witness
(DVD/ Hungarian/ 1969/ 112 mins)
Dir. Péter Bacsó
>>> Watch the Trailer

 

2nd April | 02:00 PM
Gulmohar

Synopsis:  Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó’s ‘The Witness’ has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. The film takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. It follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his “heinous” crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite. Of course, Pelikán is utterly clueless about his newfound luck, not to mention his new job. Even his new benefactor, the mysterious Comrade Virág, is reluctant to reveal the real reason behind Pelikán’s preferential treatment. Thus, begins Pelikán’s hilarious adventure deep within the “sophisticated” communist society. One failure after another the incompetent Pelikán is elevated higher and higher on the communist echelon, all the while remaining completely clueless about his promotions. Until one day, when he gets called for to return the “favour” by falsely testifying against his long-time friend in a mock-up show trial.

Suitable for 18 years and above

  • Cast: Béla Both, Ferenc Kállai, György Györffy, György Kézdy, József Horváth, Károly Bicskey, Lajos Őze, Lili Monori, Mária Rákosi, Róbert Rátonyi, Zoltán Fábri and Versényi Ida
  • Screenplay: Péter Bacsó
  • Production: Lajos Gulyás
  • Cinematography: János Zsombolyai
  • Editing: Sándor Boronkay
  • Sound: Károly Peller
  • Music: György Vukán
  • Festivals: Cannes Film Festival, 1981

Entry Free: Passes available at the Programmes desk, Habitat World, IHC

 

 

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