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A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

Thursday, January 10, 1980
7:30 p.m. A Quite Ordinary Life (Ket Elhatarozas)
Imre Gyongyossy, Barna Kabay (West Germany,1977)

Recent Hungarian Cinema


In an almost unprecedented arrangement, Das Kleine Fernsehspiel commissioned a team of Hungarian filmmakers (Imre Gyongyossy and Barna Kabay) to make a documentary for West German TV about a 74-year-old peasant woman living in a remote Hungarian village. The work that resulted, A Quite Ordinary Life, took the Golden Hugo Award at the 1978 Chicago Film Festival, and promises to be one of the chief revelations of our Tribute to the enterprising German TV producers. In his report on the 1979 Budapest Film Week for Sight and Sound, David Robinson noted:
“The best realist film made in Hungary - and for that matter anywhere else in Europe - in recent years.... Made for West German television a couple of years ago, it is wholly Hungarian in theme and spirit.... Lovingly and frankly the filmmakers observe an aged peasant woman, living a timeless but vanishing mode of life, in a village of old women who have been robbed of their menfolk by a violent century of history. The old woman, shinning up her apple trees, heaving sacks of potatoes, tilling her land, weaving, setting off on a journey to London to see her only son - an enterprise as unknown and daring for her as a trip to the moon - has the heroism of a Rembrandt subject....”

• Written and Directed by Imre Gyongyossy and Barna Kabay. Photographed by Gabor Szabo. With Veronika Kantor. (1977, 76 mins, 35mm, color, English titles, Print Courtesy of Hungarofilm)