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Tramway Film Festival


Hungary | 1990 | Fiction | 101’

A young girl is found sexually assaulted and murdered in a remote mountain forest. A peddler with a criminal record is suspected of the crime, but the investigating detective doesn’t believe he did it. He finds a drawing done by the dead girl showing a black “giant” and his car that he thinks is a picture of the perpetrator. Hoping to draw in the criminal, he sets up a mother and her young daughter as “bait” in an abandoned petrol station. This film adaptation of oft-used motifs by Friedrich Dürrenmatt is as austere as the natural world where it is set. György Fehér’s fascinating black-and-white film, in which a detective moves in an ethical grey area, is made up of about 50 camera set-ups using ingenious tracking shots and pans. As in the work of fellow Hungarian Béla Tarr (who was an advisor on this film), Fehér’s narrative style expands time.

Director: György Fehér
Script: György Fehér (based on motifs Friedrich Dürrenmatt)
Cinematography: Miklós Gurbán, Peter Benya, János Kende
Editing: Mária Czeilik
Sound: János Réti
Cast: Péter Haumann, János Derzsi, Judit Pogány, István Lénárt, Gyula Pauer, Erzsike Nagy
Production: Budapest Studio, MTV Fiatal Művészek Stúdiója

DCP: National Film Institute (Hungary)

Main festivals:

  • Hungarian Film Week (Special Award)
  • Locarno Film Festival (Bronze Leopard for Best Cinematographer – Miklós Gurbán, Youth Jury’s Special Prize, BARCLAY Jury’s Prize)
  • Hungarian Film Critics’ Award (Special Award)
  • Strasbourg Forum du Cinéma Européen (Main Prize)