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Towards the end of World War II, people in big cities are at the mercy of air raids and death by starvation. A desperate young mother leaves her 13-year-old twin sons at their grandmother's house in the country, despite the fact that this grandmother is a cruel and bestial alcoholic. The villagers call her "the Witch" because she is rumored to have poisoned her husband long ago. Previously pampered, the twins must learn how to survive alone in their new, rural surroundings.
Drama War - While its two main characters are twin boys, this is a very dark
Hungarian language drama set during World War II. Language,
violence, nudity, and sexual content, including a scene with the
boys, make this strictly for adults with a taste for gritty art fare.
PROFANITY: 2 F-words; 4 S-words; 1 GD; a number of others. SEX/NUDITY: A sexual situation with an adult woman and two boys with nudity. VIOLENCE: Bloody beatings, whippings. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Frequent alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: Fires and explosions. COMEDY: None.
Roger EbertFull Review Below Average Coming out of a screening of the film, this reviewer encountered a group of folks complaining that the ending "makes no sense." One, however, opined that it was perhaps "symbolic," which would seem to be the case. Kristof's novel is actually the first volume of a trilogy in which the two subsequent volumes trace the contrasting fates of the brothers in the post-war period. So the gambit, which sets up the story's next stages, may have a kind of justifiability as a literary conceit.
USA TodayFull Review Very Good Though it features no battle scenes, The Notebook shines a powerful, unflinching light on the horrors of World War II. Adapted from a novel by Agota Kristof and directed by János Szász, the film is almost painterly in its depiction of simple, rural life. But the content may be too bleak for mainstream audiences.
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