Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

ABANDONED
(Torzok)

 

Year: 2001
Country: Hungary
Run Time: 100 minutes

Writer-director ?rp?d Sopsits becomes nine-year-old ?ron Soproni in a plaintive, autobiographical tale set in the aftermath of Hungary's failed 1956 revolt against Moscow's domination. Now the year is 1960, and his parents' divorce and the captive country's malingering economic depression have left the boy helpless, after his incapable father deposits him in a miserable, state-run country boarding-school, maintained for the warehousing of orphans and unwanted children. ?ron endures his brutal initiation into the ranks of these cast-offs, bullying by his peers and the sadism of a dictatorial teacher (who censors his letters). There are the expected Dickensian villains in charge among the adults, but there are also surprising allies and friends, like a good-looking matron (on whom the boys spy while she showers) and a sympathetic teacher, an astronomer who himself has tasted prison for his political beliefs and who looks to the stars, literally, for solace. Gradually ?ron learns whom to trust and, along with a handful of other boys, ?ron Soproni plots an escape from the institution... As well as an oppressive milieu of fear, persecution, rigid discipline and alienation, ABANDONED portrays the flame of hope and freedom that flickers haltingly, even in such a grim setting. (In Hungarian with English subtitles)

Screenplay
?rp?d Sopsits

Director
Arpad Sopsits

Producer
L?szl? K?ntor, Frerenc Kardos

Cinematography
P?ter Szatm?ri

Editing
B?la Barsi

Principal Cast
Tam?s M?sz?ros, Szabolcs Csizmadia, Attila Zsil?k, P?ter M?ller, Imre Th?ri

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