Divided into four sections, "Song" is inspired by the Siberian and Finno-Ugric legends about Creation, in which the world begins with characters who are only half-human, one being half-bird, the other half-bear.
In the turmoilous 18th century, young poor Hungarian aristocrat Jonas helps Szaffi, a young pretty gypsy Romani girl and the illegitimate daughter of a Turkish pasha, get the treasure that's owed to her by the right of inheritance.
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... See full summary »
The Tót family resides in Northern Hungary. The couple has a daughter and a son, the latter a member of the armed forces. When his weary major is ordered to take a vacation, the son talks ... See full summary »
After the death of Géza, the Hungarian monarch, his son István and his brother Koppány gets in a conflict for the Hungarian throne. Their battle should settle the fate of Hungary: whether it adopts Christianity or remains in Paganism.
The film is an artistically spare depiction of the Greek myth of Sysiphus, sentenced to eternally roll a stone up a mountain. The story is presented in a single, unbroken shot, consisting ... See full summary »
The film's scenes were released individually throughout the 1990s and 2000s. These featured different voice actors, for instance Gyula Balázsi in the role of Lucifer and Péter Benkö as Adam. Director Marcell Jankovics referred to the preliminary audio track as erroneous and sounding like a radio play. See more »
Video of this review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75A4qMqZss
The Tragedy of Man 2011 I've heard Marcell Jankovics called the Hungarian Walt Disney and after seeing his 1981 film Feherlofia I didn't find myself in a position to disagree. Although one could make the argument that Jankovics' vision surpasses Disney's. So with that in mind I eagerly started watching Tragedy of man, a near three hour long adaptation of the well known, in Hungary anyway, play by Imre Madach. The first half hour did not disappoint. Jankovics psychedelic animation and a bombastic audio track provide one of the most compelling visual representations of the biblical creation and the fall I have ever seen. The brilliance of the animation really shines here, Jankovics presents the Adam and Eve story in such a way that Christians will not find offensive but atheists will appreciate for the possibility of a purely psychological interpretation. Unfortunately, the rest of the film's animation quality does not keep in pace with this early segment, indeed most of the film has a sort of 1 frame per second look to it. You know when you watch the making-ofs for animated features and they have scenes that haven't gotten sent off to the in-betweeners for that fluid motion—well, much of Tragedy has that feel. Now, this doesn't really detract as it gives the film a sort of dream like quality and some of the sequences surpass any other animation I've seen in terms pure visual impact. But in the, for example, future segment something about the animation just felt unfinished. This does not surprise me as the film took 20 years to make of which much of the time reportedly Jankovic spent raising funding for the project. The film also has more or less a constant fast paced dialog throughout the 160 minute run time. So if you don't like reading subtitles I would suggest waiting for a dubbed track, if one ever comes along, which doesn't feel all that likely. Those aspects aside the film has a scope and vision beyond just about anything else that I can think of that currently exists in the medium. It goes right to the heart of the human condition with an unflinching critical eye. I would not feel surprised if you came away from this picture with a new perspective on your life and humanity as a whole. If you enjoy things like 2001 A Space Odyssey and can meet it half way Tragedy of Man might just provide one of the most rewarding film experiences available, animated or otherwise.
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