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Hungarian Films

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Welcome to our foreign films page, featuring foreign movies in video and DVD format in languages from a host of countries. Note: unless stated otherwise, all videocassettes are in VHS and NTSC format, and all DVDs are for players that support Region 1 encoding (United States and Canada) and are in NTSC format. Check our DVD Compatibility FAQ for more information about region encoding, television formats, and other specifications. If you can't find what you need, please email us.

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The Red and the White
Miklos Jancso
Miklos Jancso's haunting work about the absurdity and evil of war. Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the constant shifting of power between the White guards and the Red soldiers, first at an abandoned monastery, and later, at a field hospital. Using the wide-screen technique consisting of very long takes and a ceaselessly tracking camera movement, Jancso has fashioned a brilliant visual style that gives his film the quality of a surreal nightmare. Videocassette and DVD in Hungarian with English subtitles; Hungary, 1968, 92 mins.
DVD | $44.95  


Hungarian Films


Abandoned
Arpad Sopsits
A nine-year-boy is abandoned at an orphanage where life is bleak and the headmaster is plainly sadistic. Enduring beatings from the staff and other boys, he finally forges a friendship that gives him the strength to stand up and lead his classmates in a revolt against their institution. Winner of the Grand Prix des Ameriques at the Montreal World Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2001, 98 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Adoption
Marta Meszaros
The breakthrough film for Marta Meszaros (Diary for All My Children, a unique mixture of documentary and fictional techniques in the story of Mary, a middle-aged woman, who befriends the younger Julia, who insists on having her child live with her. A film of considerable psychological insight. Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1975, 89 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Another Way
Karoly Makk
Public and private morality collides in this psychological drama about a love triangle during the aftermath of the failed Hungarian uprising in 1956. Livia, the beautiful wife of an army officer, is a reporter at the Budapest newspaper where Eve, an outspoken lesbian journalist, comes to work after two years of politically motivated unemployment. When Eve and Livia fall in love they embark on an affair whose tragic consequences are mirrored by Hungary's oppression under Soviet rule. Based on an autobiographical bestseller. With Jadwiga Jankowska-Kieslak, Grazyna Szapolowska and Josef Kroner. "One of cinema's most truly erotic films" (David Robinson, The Times). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1982, 102 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Bolshe Vita
Ibolya Fekete
This acclaimed, multiple-award-winning film centers around a group of young people who meet in a rock pub in Budapest in the summer of 1989 during Hungary's fleeting celebration of Communism's fall. This Pynchonesque crew includes two goofy Russian musicians, an engineer who has been reduced to selling kitchen knives, and two girlfriends, English and American, in search of action. After the fun and romance, they must move on, as the mafia and the onset of new nationalist chaos closes in. In Hungarian and Russian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1996, 90 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

The Bridgeman
Geza Beremenyi
Set during the Hapsburg reign (1820-1860), this sweeping period drama was the most expensive Hungarian movie ever produced when it opened in 2002. The lavish work tells the story of the aristocrat Count Istvan Szechenyi (Karoly Eperjes), a brilliant and calculating figure who attempts to repent for an early life of ignoble behavior by courageously spearheading a resistance movement in his native Hungary. Director Geza Beremenyi chronicles Szechenyi's successes and setbacks as he attempts to shake the foundations of a powerful monarchy. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2002, 141 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Catsplay
Karoly Makk
Karoly Makk's contemplative film about two unmarried sisters who cast wistful glances back at their lives, yet still believe in hope and love. Told in the form of an epistolary novel, and utilizing vivid images to convey the character's innermost thoughts, the film is a serious, stylistically daring, and deeply involving drama. As with Makk's previous international success, Love, the director exhibits an extraordinary skill at drawing emotionally compelling performances from his talented female leads. In the end, Cat's Play opposes the bleakness of the outside world with themes of passion, love, and loyalty. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1972, 98 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Chico
Ibolya Fekete
An ideological adventure movie, from the director of Bolshe Vita. Chico is half Hungarian and half Spanish, half Catholic and half Jewish. As a child he was steeped in the myths of Che Guevara and Salvador Allende. But when he finds himself in the middle of Hungarian communism, he reevaluates his beliefs. Later, he takes sides in the war in Croatia. Chico earned Ibolya Fekete Best Director honors at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In Spanish, Hungarian, Croatian, and other languages, with English subtitles. Germany/Hungary/Croatia/Chile, 2001, 112 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Child Murders
Ildiko Szabo
Exquisite black-and-white cinematography softens this macabre story of despair and murder among Hungary's outcasts. Young Zsolt lives a hopeless life caring for his ailing alcoholic grandmother in a tiny apartment along the Danube in Budapest. Taunted by other adolescents, he spends most of his days alone. When he befriends a pregnant gypsy girl, his life takes a series of unexpected turns. Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, director Ildiko Szabo fashions a gritty, suspenseful tale that addresses issues of morality and humanity. Also known as Gyerekgyilkossagok. In Hungarian with optional English subtitles. Hungary, 1993, 79 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Colossal Sensation
Robert Koltai
A deft blend of comedy and pathos, Robert Koltai's film sets the tumultuous lives of twin circus clowns against watershed moments in 20th century Hungarian history. Born and raised in a gypsy circus somewhere in the backwaters of Eastern Europe, twin brothers and clowns Naphthalene and Dodo fall afoul of the local Communist Party when a joke goes awry. Dodo takes the fall for his hapless brother and lands in the gulag, while Naphthalene unwittingly sets in motion events that lead to revolution. "...an engaging comedy of survival" (The Los Angeles Times). Includes director interview, making-of featurette, and trailer. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 95 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

The District (Nyocker)
Aron Gauder
"Budapest gets the South Park treatment in District, a rap-infused, animated musical love story that morphs into a satiric geopolitical thriller" (Variety). A group of kids from the slums devise a totally reasonable way to get rich. Find a way to go back in time, bury a pit full of mammoths under the Hungarian capital, then return to the present and start drilling for the oil. When this actually happens, they find some unwelcome company--Vladimir Putin, Tony Blair, and George W. Bush. The visual style, a blend of collage, photo cutouts, and animation, is worth the price of admission alone. The insane story is an added bonus. In Hungarian with optional English subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 95 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Down by Love
Tamas Sas
Directed by acclaimed Hungarian cinematographer Tamas Sas, Down By Love stars Patricia Kovacs as Eva, a young woman living alone in a flat bequeathed to her by her parents. Eva's relationship with Tibor, an older married man, provides the only excitement in her life, but when she returns from a holiday she begins to discover the unsettling truth about his intentions. By focusing his lens almost exclusively on Kovacs, Sas fashions a daringly experimental film that "emerges as a fresh, challenging, and unpredictable experience with a stunning finish" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times). Winner of the Best Artistic Contribution Award at the Cairo International Film Festival. DVD includes audio commentary by Tamas Sas and producer Denes Szekeres, trailer, photo gallery, radio spot, and filmographies. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 90 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Electra, My Love
Miklos Jancso
In an awesome leap of imagination, Miklos Jancso, one of the world's great filmmakers, relocates the classic myth of Electra to a desolate Hungarian plain. Here, the nail-biting drama plays out against the rituals of naked girls and galloping horsemen. The film is shot as a visual epic, with elaborate camera moves that are Jancso's famous signature. When Electra takes off in a red helicopter, the story catapults into the future, in a masterstroke that leaves the audience breathless. "A masterpiece" (Film Comment). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1974, 71 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Escape from Recsk (Szokes)
Livia Gyarmathy
A powerful Hungarian film set in postwar Hungary in the early 1950s. The Communist regime secretly disappeared countless citizens without warning or trial, sending these political prisoners to labor camps, the most notorious one located at Recsk. Only one man is known to have escaped this nightmare, and Szokes tells his story. His accounts of prisoner life helped lead to the dismantling of the gulag system in the Soviet satellite states. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1996, 92 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Forbidden Relations
Zsolt Kezdi-Kovacs
A true story of incest and its repercussions is brought to life in this exceptional drama that goes far beyond the sensationalism of the subject matter. It is a powerful tale of two lovers who discover they are half-siblings. They refuse to end their relationship even after the young woman's pregnancy puts them up against social ostracism and imprisonment. "...a delirious expression of l'amour fou, effectively filmed against a prosaic background. Driving, floating long takes, reminiscent of Kezdi-Kovacs's mentor Miklos Jancso, are used to express the uncontrollable passion of the young couple..." (Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1983, 92 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Glamour
Frigyes Godros
The dreams and struggles of three generations of a Hungarian Jewish family are depicted in this award-winning drama. Against a backdrop of major 20th century events, director Frigyes Godros mixes humor and tragedy with realism and fantasy as his characters survive war, Nazi tyranny, communism, and economic hardship. Five years in the making, Glamour is a remarkable historical epic that thrives on the intimacy of personal relationships. "An elegant, poetic fable... with a shimmering beauty" (Los Angeles Times). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2000, 110 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Hukkle
Gyorgy Palfi
A uniquely non-narrative look at life in a rural Hungarian town, Gyorgy Palfi's marvelous debut blends a dizzying melange of sights and sounds into an audio-visual symphony. From an elderly man's hiccup (or hukkle) to the mating of hogs and the death of a mole beneath the ground, Palfi charts the everyday events of this sleepy community with an eye to their mysterious and often sinister underpinnings. "Beautifully shot, full of droll humor" (Variety). Letterboxed DVD includes making-of featurette, pre-production footage, production diary excerpts, and trailer. Hungary, 2002, 75 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

I Love Budapest
Agnes Incze
This portrait of modern Hungarian youth earned critical accolades in its homeland. It's a stylish, fast-moving account of a young woman (Gabriella Hamori in an impressive screen debut) from a rural town who comes to the city in search of a better life. She finds a job, new friends, and romance, but it's all endangered when she discovers that her closest friend's boyfriend is deeply involved with the criminal world. Hungarian with English subtitles; Hungary, 2001, 85 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Johnny Famous
Gergely Fonyo
Jon Jacobs delivers a touching performance as an innocent, mentally challenged title character in this award-winning film by Gergely Fonyo. Jacobs plays the 30-year-old Johnny, who lives with his elderly mother and spends his days dreaming and walking Venice Beach. When his mother falls ill, she has a young student, Amy Jo (Dawn Kapatos), care for her son. A charming film with touches of subtle humor, Johnny Famous was named Best Picture at the Hungarian Academy Awards. USA/Hungary, 1999, 80 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Kontroll
Nimrod Antal
The milieu of Nimrod Antal's stylish debut is the strange subterranean labyrinth of the Budapest subway system, the second-oldest in the world. Sandor Csanyi stars as the leader of a group of beleaguered ticket inspectors, assigned to patrol sections of the tracks. Deployed by higher powers, the petty bureaucrats experience abuse and humiliation as they attempt to regulate a train system populated by harmless patrons and hooded madmen alike. "A thoroughly satisfying, rambunctious entertainment that also subtly works on philosophical and spiritual levels" (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times). Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (2004). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 106 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

The Last Blues
Peter Gardos
Andris is a happily married husband, father to an eight-year-old son, and a successful businessman in Budapest, but he's also leading a second life. While pretending to be away on business in Poland, Andris spends half the year in Cracow with his beautiful girlfriend Bea, living the life of a talented and passionate artist. But the news that Bea is pregnant creates a serious impasse--as he drives towards his own wedding in Cracow, Andris must choose between his two lives for the first time. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2002, 96 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

A Long Weekend in Pest and Buda
Karoly Makk
Legendary Hungarian actors Mari Torocsik and Ivan Darvas reunite with master director Karoly Makk for his last feature film, a contemporary romantic drama set in picturesque Budapest. Darvas stars as Ivan, an aging retiree who was forced to leave Hungary during the '56 revolution. He lives in comfortable retirement with his wife in Switzerland, but a phone call prompts him to return to his homeland. There he is reunited with a former lover (Mari), who has lived with many secrets that will change his life. "Beautifully made... a sad story of lost love and unfulfilled dreams" (World Movie Channel). In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2003, 90 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Love
Karoly Makk
Lili Darvas, the famed stage actress and widow of Ferenc Molnar, portrays a bed-ridden old woman in this emotionally precise drama. Her daughter-in-law, whose husband is in jail as a political prisoner, concocts a fictitious story about his life as a filmmaker in America and forges letters from him filled with Hollywood gossip, which the mother devours as she awaits her son's return. When he is finally sprung from prison, it is too late. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1971, 84 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Magic Hunter
Ildiko Enyedi
David Bowie lent his name to this film by the talented Hungarian director Ildiko Enyedi (My Twentieth Century). The film is an inventive update of a Faustian tale set in modern Hungary, about a Budapest police force sharpshooter (Gary Kemp) who makes a deal with a shady colleague for seven magic bullets guaranteed to hit their target - but there is a price that comes with the seventh bullet that the cop doesn't know about. Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary/Canada, 1996, 106 mins.
Videocassette | $44.95  

Men in the Nude
Karoly Esztergalyos
This solemn Hungarian drama tells the story of Tibor, a middle-aged writer who leaves his wife to pursue a spotty affair with a young male prostitute, Zsolt. Tibor claims that his young male suitor has "awoken something in himself" and uses this inspiration to help revive his writing career. Consumed with lust and the thrill of their secret relationship, Tibor continues to stay with Zsolt even as the lad starts to ruin every aspect of his life. "Writer-helmer Karoly Esztergalyos eschews thriller elements in favor of the emotional chaos of love and desire" (Variety). Also known as Ferfiakt. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2006, 94 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Men on the Mountains
Istvan Szots
The first film by Hungarian director Istvan Szots tells the story of a woodcutter who moves his family into the serene mountains of Transylvania in search of a better life, only finding tragedy instead. Deviating from mainstream comedies and melodramas of wartime Hungary, this film captures the hardships of people living in such a beautiful yet harsh environment. Also known as People of the Alps, the film was shot on location in Transylvania with a straightforward realist aesthetic and a devotion to the details of daily life, both of which made a sizeable impression on the emerging Italian Neorealists. Winner of the Biennale Award at the Venice Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1942, 90 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

A Miracle in Cracow
Diana Groo
Peter, a young Jewish Hungarian grows up hearing his grandmother tell him stories daily about a valuable book of magic confiscated by the Nazis. Now a bookseller, he learns that the book is owned by a beautiful young woman with whom he's fallen in love, but from whom he's tempted to steal. In Hungarian, Polish and Yiddish with English subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 95 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

The Porcelain Doll
Peter Gardos
Director Peter Gardos (The Last Blues) interweaves three whimsical fables of Hungarian rural life in this award-winning drama. Adapted from the novel Star Farm by Ervin Lazar, the stories focus on life, death, and resurrection, and feature inventive visual techniques and thought-provoking endings reminiscent of O. Henry or Rod Serling. Set between the 1930s and 1950s, the tales serve as allegories for the historical events of the 20th century. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2005, 75 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

The Red and the White
Miklos Jancso
Miklos Jancso's haunting work about the absurdity and evil of war. Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the constant shifting of power between the White guards and the Red soldiers, first at an abandoned monastery, and later, at a field hospital. Using the wide-screen technique consisting of very long takes and a ceaselessly tracking camera movement, Jancso has fashioned a brilliant visual style that gives his film the quality of a surreal nightmare. Hungarian with English subtitles; Hungary, 1968, 92 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Rose's Songs
Andor Szilagyi
An award-winning look at World War II Budapest. A Jewish family hides out from Nazi occupancy with an opera singer whose beautiful voice is said to protect all from capture. With Ildiko Bansagi, Franco Castellano, and David Zum. Director Andor Szilagyi was nominated for the Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2003, 98 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

School of Senses
Andras Solyom
A beautiful 20-year-old Gypsy girl, crippled in an accident, relives her obsessive, ultimately destructive sexual relationship with a married businessman through the diary she keeps. Structured through memories that slowly reveal the price she paid for her passion, this is a dark yet sensual portrayal of the psychological depths of physical love. Also known as School of Sensitivity. Official Selection at the Prague Film Festival. Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1995, 90 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Silence and Cry
Miklos Jancso
The friendship between two childhood friends is tested in this political drama from the great Miklos Jancso (The Round-Up, Electra, My Love). After an abortive attempt by the Communists to seize power in 1919 Hungary, the authorities set out to find the insurgents. A lone Communist takes refuge in a rural area with a family, unaware that his friend, an army officer, knows his whereabouts. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1967, 85 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Simon the Magician
Ildiko Enyedi
In this clever, contemporary spin on the story of Simon Magus, history's first Gnostic, a celebrated magician believed to have superior mental powers is called to Paris to help the police solve a murder. While there, he falls in love with a beautiful young girl and is challenged to a Houdini-styled escape stunt by a rival magician. A sensuous and stirring film from the director of My Twentieth Century. In French and Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary/France, 1999, 100 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Somewhere in Europe
Geza von Radvanyi
A classic WWII film, Geza von Radvanyi's gritty drama tells of a graying musician (Artur Somlay) who adopts misfit children who have been orphaned by the war. Hiding out together in a bombed-out castle, the refugees come to rely on one another for friendship and survival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1947, 100 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Stalin's Bride
Peter Bacso
Renowned filmmaker Peter Bacso (Oh, Bloody Life!) directs this tragicomedy set during Stalin's reign. A young, maligned woman, nicknamed Stalin's Bride, by the cruel townsfolk, is taken away by the authorities thanks to her nickname. She gets her just desserts, though, when she returns to town to face her tormenters. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1991, 89 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Stop Mom Theresa!
Peter Bergendy
Adapted from a contemporary Hungarian best-seller by Zsuzsa Racz, this breezy romantic comedy features rising star Gabriella Hamori as the cute, quirky Kata Keki. A successful career girl, Kata decides to stop doing good for others and focus on her quest for Mr. Right. Her brother Miki and her friends try to keep her on the right track, but her mom continuously pressures her to settle down. Like "Bridget Jones goes to Budapest" (Variety). In Hungarian with English Subtitles. Hungary, 2004, 127 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Tamas and Juli
Ildiko Enyedi
A young, socially awkward coal miner and a shy kindergarten teacher slowly overcome their introverted ways and begin to fall in love. Their romance, however, is hindered by the dominating presence of the coal mine, a force that proves especially overpowering on December 31, 1999. A strong commentary on man and the machinery of life. Part of the 2000 Seen by.. series, in which French television commissioned several filmmakers from around the world to make a film using the impending millennium as the subject or background. Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1997, 63 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Vaska Easoff
Peter Gothar
In this fractured fairy tale for adults, two thieves--Vaska and Vanya--steal the czar's treasure from the Bank of St. Petersburg by opening the roof with a sardine can opener taken from the nest of a griffin. And this is only the start of their misadventures: Vaska is temporarily beheaded, the Red Guards are hot on their heels, and copious amounts of Vodka are consumed by all. Set in Soviet Russia, Vaska Easoff was derived from a mythical story passed among prisoners of the Communist labor camps. It imaginatively satirizes life under Communist rule, while harking back to classic Russian folktales. "Visually dazzling" (Variety). In Russian and Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1996, 86 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

A Village Romance
Bodis Kriszia
A documentary about two women who fall in love in a small Hungarian village, once a haven for the lesbian community. One lives in poverty, while the other is married to an abusive and alcoholic husband who threatens to take her to court when he finds out about her secret. Biding her time until he's out of the picture, she and her children are eventually able to move in with her female lover. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2006, 50 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

White Palms
Szabolcs Hajdu
Though technically a sports film, director Szabolcs Hajdu's White Palms is really a "punishing, beautiful drama" (New York Times) that foregoes the triumphant ending in favor of something more distinctive. In it, a gold medal gymnast (Zoltan Miklos Hajdu) struggles to get past the abusive training he endured as a child in communist Hungary in order to conscientiously coach a young Canadian Olympic team. An Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 2006, 100 mins.
DVD | $44.95  

Who the Hell's Bonnie & Clyde?
Krisztina Deak
Lili and Pali never thought they'd be lovers, let alone bank robbers. But that doesn't stop the young Hungarian couple from hitting the road with their bags stuffed with stolen bills. Krisztina Deak's stylish drama sets a rebel romance against the backdrop of Eastern European crime and corruption. With Ildiko Raczkevy and Gabor Karalyos. Hungary, 2005, 94 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

The Witness
Peter Bacso
Peter Bacso's film was banned for more than nine years. Set in 1949, the film is a political satire that mixes forms and styles, symbolism and screwball farce. The story concerns a functionary who's imprisoned and eventually manipulated into providing testimony against his best friend, a government minister on trial for treason. With Ferenc Kallai, Lajos Oze and Zoltan Fabri. Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1968, 110 mins.
DVD | $37.95  

Woyzeck (1994)
Janos Szasz
Georg Buchner's play, filmed several times before (including a memorable adaptation by Werner Herzog), is brought to the screen again with vivid, chilling results by Janos Szasz. Living in desperate poverty, harassed by his manager at the railyard and ignored by his wife, troubled Woyzeck allows himself to be the subject of medical testing in order to support his family. He finally reaches his limit when he discovers his wife having an affair with a policeman and the betrayal pushes him to violence. The black-and-white photography effectively captures the bleak emotional landscape. "A stark, boldly expressive nod to the shadows and angles of silent-era German cinema" (Onion A.V. Club). Winner of the Felix Prize at the 1994 Berlin Film Festival. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Hungary, 1994, 93 mins.
DVD | $44.95