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Amir Ben Abdelmoumen,
Max von Sydow
The Nazis have invaded Hungary and war is raging in the main cities. To avoid it, a woman leaves her thirteen-year-old twin boys at their grandmother's place in the countryside. The children don't know their grandmother, a dirty, miserly, and mean old woman who barely allows them inside the house. Left to their own devices, the two children learn to cope with hunger, the cold, and the everyday cruelty in a devastated country. To protect themselves, the twins reject all moral codes and values and instead take their lessons from the evil around them in order to try to survive. The siblings studiously note, as objectively as possible, their discoveries and their burgeoning knowledge in a notebook.Written by
The movie is dedicated to the memory of the Hungarian writer Agota Kristof (1935-2011), from the novel of whom the story of the film is taken. See more »
It's 1944. Twin boys live comfortable city lives. Their parents are worried about the impending Nazi defeat and upheaval. Their mother brings them to live with their bitter grandmother. They don't even know her who has been living alone in the Hungarian rural home estranged from her daughter. She's angry and beats on the boys. Local girl Harelip steals from them but she turns the table on the boys and they're the ones getting beaten. Nazis have a camp nearby. After constant beatings, the boys decide to toughen up and learn from the evil surrounding them.
It's a disturbing violent world being portrayed. The twins are not necessarily good actors. They don't get much sympathy. The grandmother is fascinating in her ugliness. It's a cold-hearted fable without anybody to root for.
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