1945 Reviews

  • Aug 31, 2020

    Nagyon jó film szerintem belehett sorolni a legjobb magyar filmhez. Hatalmas dicséret a stábnak. (Google Translate) I think a very good film can be classified as the best Hungarian film. Huge praise to the crew.

    Nagyon jó film szerintem belehett sorolni a legjobb magyar filmhez. Hatalmas dicséret a stábnak. (Google Translate) I think a very good film can be classified as the best Hungarian film. Huge praise to the crew.

  • Dec 27, 2019

    Paranoia and guilt can be anchors and this Hungarian film excellently portrays that albatross in a movie that is brisk, but slow and effective. The slow burn as you try to put the pieces together as to why people are behaving the way the are. This post Holocaust feature isn't like most and is fresh and packs a punch. While there isn't much on the page, it's visuals are such a brain twister that I didn't care. Well-acted and framed, '1945' works. Final Score: 7.2/10

    Paranoia and guilt can be anchors and this Hungarian film excellently portrays that albatross in a movie that is brisk, but slow and effective. The slow burn as you try to put the pieces together as to why people are behaving the way the are. This post Holocaust feature isn't like most and is fresh and packs a punch. While there isn't much on the page, it's visuals are such a brain twister that I didn't care. Well-acted and framed, '1945' works. Final Score: 7.2/10

  • Oct 22, 2019

    Effective and interesting little film. Slightly over egged for my taste but overall an engaging 90 minutes or so.

    Effective and interesting little film. Slightly over egged for my taste but overall an engaging 90 minutes or so.

  • Aug 03, 2019

    Excellent. I appreciated the community's range of responses to the situation which demonstrated the complexity of humanity; rather than the sometimes overly broad strokes used when discussing this history.

    Excellent. I appreciated the community's range of responses to the situation which demonstrated the complexity of humanity; rather than the sometimes overly broad strokes used when discussing this history.

  • Apr 23, 2019

    Superb acting, writing, and direction kept me engrossed till the gradually expected ending. If I were teaching a course in the meaning of karma, I'd show this to the class. A marvel of a film; even the music is admirable.

    Superb acting, writing, and direction kept me engrossed till the gradually expected ending. If I were teaching a course in the meaning of karma, I'd show this to the class. A marvel of a film; even the music is admirable.

  • Apr 14, 2019

    Great direction! 1st third is pretty darned good. You can't imagine any of the characters are anyone but who they are. Well done.

    Great direction! 1st third is pretty darned good. You can't imagine any of the characters are anyone but who they are. Well done.

  • Jan 22, 2019

    Woah, it takes lot of guts to admit and portray a historical mistake of a nation this way. Tells a lot about humans even today. Try to find yourself.

    Woah, it takes lot of guts to admit and portray a historical mistake of a nation this way. Tells a lot about humans even today. Try to find yourself.

  • Dec 24, 2018

    The dread. And impending doom. I liked this.

    The dread. And impending doom. I liked this.

  • Nov 28, 2018

    Brilliant film. It is the story of how the Hungarian villagers react when a Jewish father and son return to the village from the death camps. The fear that they are back to reclaim their property is pervasive. Some react decently, some with guilt as to what they had done. Others just want to keep their ill gotten gains. Shot in black and white, it is brilliantly done..

    Brilliant film. It is the story of how the Hungarian villagers react when a Jewish father and son return to the village from the death camps. The fear that they are back to reclaim their property is pervasive. Some react decently, some with guilt as to what they had done. Others just want to keep their ill gotten gains. Shot in black and white, it is brilliantly done..

  • Nov 01, 2018

    A train spewing noxious black smoke crawls into a rural station. Two Jews dressed in black debark, with a couple large crates.They engage a horse-drawn cart to transport their cargo. Declining to ride in the cart, they prefer to walk behind it, slowly. Of their purpose or destination, we learn little more until the very end of the film -- we scarcely see or hear them again, and we never learn their identity. But it is Hungary, August 1945, and their arrival shatters an entire village. If you appreciate the storytelling of István Szabó ("Sunshine") or the exquisite eye of Miklós Jancsó ("The Red and the White"), or the long trajectory of Hungarian directorial aesthetics, or just solid filmmaking, "1945" is food for the senses. Ferenc Török employs a richly toned black-and-white camera to generate beautiful André Kertész-like images in every frame. But Manó Kaminer (better known in America as Michael Curtiz, director of "Casablanca" and other iconic films) is perhaps a nearer forebear, because this is a genre film, like "3:10 to Yuma" or "High Noon" only in reverse: strangers arrive and a town melts down within hours. This town displays few scars of war. Its very ordinariness suggests that there are many other towns just like it. Occupying Russian soldiers jaunt about in a jeep, taunting one of the Jews, pestering young women, and warily tolerated by the locals; but apart from this harbinger of change and an ebullient recently-returned partisan soldier, time and custom seem stuck in the Austro-Hungarian imperial era. An elaborate wedding, mounted by the town's leading citizen for his son and fiancée,will begin at 3pm. Then a messenger arrives in haste, and word spreads: "They're back". Nobody needs to identify who "they" are, and nobody expected "them" to ever return. This town denounced, betrayed (in one case by a "best friend"), and deported its Jews during the German occupation, enabling villagers to seize their homes and businesses. As the onion of local history is unpeeled during the course of this day, virtually the entire town, motivated by greed, is revealed as complicit in crimes which they themselves recognize constitute murder. Their complacency that their actions are irreversible and that they are "safe" is reflected in their failure to conceal their tracks, to disappear the wall clock with Hebrew numbers and Star of David, or the vacation photo albums of prosperous, apparently secular Jewish former residents. The two Orthodox Jews who arrive by train are complete strangers to the townsfolk, but they nonetheless present an implicit threat that ostensible "gains" (under a defeated regime) may be reversed, and that "they" have returned to reclaim Jewish possessions or, biblically and far worse, to punish. In anticipation, some townspeople are riven with guilt, others escape through alcohol or ether addiction, still others insist upon the legality, however concocted or discredited, of their newly acquired property "rights". Revelation engenders revelation, several reckonings ensue, and the townspeople finally scapegoat the biggest winner among them, to evade collective responsibility -- he richly deserves punishment, but so do many others, from priests to police to perjurers. There is no moral resolution, merely ongoing hypocrisy and a final, shuddering deceit in a cemetery. If Török offers any conclusion, it is that Nazi defeat changed nothing. The core plot is inexorably predictable, melodramatic, and somewhat flawed. The two travelers, supposedly accompanied by crates of "fragrances", perhaps jewelry and perfume, don't really bear the weight of the town's hysteria and panic upon arrival -- they are simply "mysterious" (until, rather anticlimactically, they aren't). The Russian soldiers may unsettle some townspeople because Russia's attitude toward restitution and Nazi-era atrocities or collaborator culpability is unclear, but that is speculation -- otherwise they simply represent outsiders, and these villagers explicitly wish outsiders to "drop dead". A subsidiary love triangle adds little beyond a conflagration born of frustration (masquerading rather nonsensically as revenge) -- lives warped by war. However, the film's flaws are confined mainly to the script, and not fatal. Török's actors perform with nuance. The cinematography, which insistently peeks and pries past barriers to reveal, is particularly artful and engaging. This is not a trivial film.

    A train spewing noxious black smoke crawls into a rural station. Two Jews dressed in black debark, with a couple large crates.They engage a horse-drawn cart to transport their cargo. Declining to ride in the cart, they prefer to walk behind it, slowly. Of their purpose or destination, we learn little more until the very end of the film -- we scarcely see or hear them again, and we never learn their identity. But it is Hungary, August 1945, and their arrival shatters an entire village. If you appreciate the storytelling of István Szabó ("Sunshine") or the exquisite eye of Miklós Jancsó ("The Red and the White"), or the long trajectory of Hungarian directorial aesthetics, or just solid filmmaking, "1945" is food for the senses. Ferenc Török employs a richly toned black-and-white camera to generate beautiful André Kertész-like images in every frame. But Manó Kaminer (better known in America as Michael Curtiz, director of "Casablanca" and other iconic films) is perhaps a nearer forebear, because this is a genre film, like "3:10 to Yuma" or "High Noon" only in reverse: strangers arrive and a town melts down within hours. This town displays few scars of war. Its very ordinariness suggests that there are many other towns just like it. Occupying Russian soldiers jaunt about in a jeep, taunting one of the Jews, pestering young women, and warily tolerated by the locals; but apart from this harbinger of change and an ebullient recently-returned partisan soldier, time and custom seem stuck in the Austro-Hungarian imperial era. An elaborate wedding, mounted by the town's leading citizen for his son and fiancée,will begin at 3pm. Then a messenger arrives in haste, and word spreads: "They're back". Nobody needs to identify who "they" are, and nobody expected "them" to ever return. This town denounced, betrayed (in one case by a "best friend"), and deported its Jews during the German occupation, enabling villagers to seize their homes and businesses. As the onion of local history is unpeeled during the course of this day, virtually the entire town, motivated by greed, is revealed as complicit in crimes which they themselves recognize constitute murder. Their complacency that their actions are irreversible and that they are "safe" is reflected in their failure to conceal their tracks, to disappear the wall clock with Hebrew numbers and Star of David, or the vacation photo albums of prosperous, apparently secular Jewish former residents. The two Orthodox Jews who arrive by train are complete strangers to the townsfolk, but they nonetheless present an implicit threat that ostensible "gains" (under a defeated regime) may be reversed, and that "they" have returned to reclaim Jewish possessions or, biblically and far worse, to punish. In anticipation, some townspeople are riven with guilt, others escape through alcohol or ether addiction, still others insist upon the legality, however concocted or discredited, of their newly acquired property "rights". Revelation engenders revelation, several reckonings ensue, and the townspeople finally scapegoat the biggest winner among them, to evade collective responsibility -- he richly deserves punishment, but so do many others, from priests to police to perjurers. There is no moral resolution, merely ongoing hypocrisy and a final, shuddering deceit in a cemetery. If Török offers any conclusion, it is that Nazi defeat changed nothing. The core plot is inexorably predictable, melodramatic, and somewhat flawed. The two travelers, supposedly accompanied by crates of "fragrances", perhaps jewelry and perfume, don't really bear the weight of the town's hysteria and panic upon arrival -- they are simply "mysterious" (until, rather anticlimactically, they aren't). The Russian soldiers may unsettle some townspeople because Russia's attitude toward restitution and Nazi-era atrocities or collaborator culpability is unclear, but that is speculation -- otherwise they simply represent outsiders, and these villagers explicitly wish outsiders to "drop dead". A subsidiary love triangle adds little beyond a conflagration born of frustration (masquerading rather nonsensically as revenge) -- lives warped by war. However, the film's flaws are confined mainly to the script, and not fatal. Török's actors perform with nuance. The cinematography, which insistently peeks and pries past barriers to reveal, is particularly artful and engaging. This is not a trivial film.