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Synopsis

Hungarian native Olga lives as a successful lawyer in Vienna. One day her over-80-year-old mother Mária lapses into a coma after receiving an official letter. Olga heads home to Hungary to care for her mother. In doing so, she bit by bit discovers that there seems to be a dark secret in her family’s history. Her research takes her back to the Hungary of the 1950s, when the country was occupied by the Soviet Union. Eventually, she discovers that the origin and identity of the woman she believed to be is not as clear as she always thought. 86-year-old Hungarian director Márta Mészáros brings up an old and painful subject in her film, unrolling a largely unresolved chapter of Hungarian history: the cover-up of the fact that many young Hungarian women had children from Soviet occupation soldiers – either voluntarily or by rape – after the war, who grew up more or less fatherless or were endowed with a beautified biography. Using Mária and Olga, Mészáros creates a link between the past of a war-torn Europe and a younger generation, which often had no or insufficient knowledge of the traumatic events for decades.

Guests

Márta Mészáros

Márta Mészáros

Director Aurora Borealis: Northern Light
Master Class The Art of Filmmaking
In Vienna: April 13-18

Moderator

Liliana Nelska

Liliana Nelska

Moderator Film Programme

Aurora Borealis: Northern Light

Original Title

Aurora Borealis: Északi fény

Director

Márta Mészáros

Script

Éva Pataki, Zoltán Jancso

Actors

Mari Törőcsik, Ildikó Tóth, Franciska Törőcsik

Genre

Feature film

Category

Lifetime Achievement Award, Best of Hungary

Country

Hungary

Year

2017

Language

Hungarian with Engl. sub.

Running time

104 min.

Distribution/Contact

Hungarian National Film Fund

Dates

Sunday 15.04.

18:00 Urania Kino

Monday 16.04.

18:00 Artis International 3

Tuesday 17.04.

18:30 Breitenseer Lichtspiele