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Director: Ferenc Török | USA | 2017 | Drama | Hungarian | English subtitles | 91 mins


In this astonishingly haunting film, deep undercurrents run beneath the simple surface in a quaint village that’s ultimately forced to face up to its “ill-gotten gains” from the Second World War.

On a sweltering August day in 1945, villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. Meanwhile, two Orthodox Jews black hats disembark from a train under a foreboding sky, setting a small town into a panic. The town clerk fears the men may be heirs of the village’s deported Jews and expects them to demand their illegally acquired property back, stolen during the War. Other villagers are afraid more survivors will come, posing a threat to the property and possessions they have claimed as their own.

.As they walk silently behind a horse-drawn cart carrying two crates to an unknown destination, their presence elicits a spate of rumours.
1945 stunningly captures a transitional moment in European history with one village’s actions reflecting the moral corrosion of an entire continent. Beautifully shot in black in white with a spare, melancholy score, this understated film quietly builds and ultimately packs an unexpected punch, a subtle and nuanced study in the collective guilt and enduring anti-Semitism of postwar Hungary.

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