The Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo made this brilliant claustrophobic drama in 1979 - but despite winning prizes at Berlin Film Festival for Best Director, and nominated for an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film in 1980 has never had any kind of decent release anywhere.
We are indebted again to the resourceful UK company Second Run DVD for uncovering another forgotten gem of world cinema. This is a real find.
Basically a two-hander, it takes place during the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Budapest in 1944. A young mother's life is turned upside down when she's suddenly forced into hiding to escape the Nazi persecution. Forced to pose as the wife of a man she doesn't know (a member of the anti-Nazi resistance), and unaware of the fate of her own husband and child, the two are impelled to try to trust each other...
The performances are wonderful, the cinematography (in shades of beautiful steel blues and greys) is stunning, the script intelligent and poignant. This really is a a great film, and mystery why no one would have bothered to release it before - especially considering its subject matter and the reputation of it's great director - and presented beautifully on Second Run's exceptional disc.