The odd-seeming characters who meet time and again in the pub have one thing in common: they rarely win. Neither in the old nor in the new system. Neither when playing a game nor in real life. The result is a permanent sense of irritation and tension, which is vented here in a feature film that is revered as a cult classic in Hungary.
Almost as if they had suspected that the future in this new, free world would have nothing more to offer them than in the past, these anti-heroes accept the change of regime without a hint of euphoria, in fact they barely even notice. They have no interest in turning the wheel of history. Overthrows and revolutions are not planned. Yet when “their” pub doesn't open, they revolt and dismantle its walls. Only, once inside, to once again fill their empty lives with alcohol. That another, notorious wall is concurrently falling in Berlin can be gleaned from TV. In the background it reports on the upheavals of history and proclaims a new-found consumer happiness by means of colourful advertising images. They take no notice however and continue to angrily insult the police officers as dirty, Bolshevik communists. The fuse is always short here; whether when filling out lottery tickets, haggling in the market or resolving jealous disputes. It never takes much to set off an emotional explosion. DD
György Szomjas, Ferenc Grunwalsky
Ági Szirtes, Zoltán Mucsi, Sándor Gáspár, Ildikó Bánsági, András Szőke
National Film Institte Hungary - Film Archive
Budakeszi út 51/E