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The Confrontation

Miklós Jancsó
Fényes szelek
Hungary 1968 / 82’

A philosophical parable transformed into a choreographically sublime ballet performance. In the plot, the director has recalled events of his youth when he participated in operations against the Hungarian clergy as a member of the communist scouting movement. Jancsó depicted events from the past, but he waived costumes, dialogues and historical realism. Instead, he showed a group of young people, who go to a hill where a monastery is situated. They are singing, they are emotional. Then, they take over the church and the convent school and finally they initiate terror, force priests to take off their cassocks and introduce lay educational methods. Soon, the young people's idealism is stopped by the authorities, as officials come to the monastery and replace the naive contestation with cold totalitarian procedures.

Jancsó developed his own, original style which seemed totally modern in the 1960s and 1970s and which was the very best for the feverish counter-culture epoch. The Confrontation is a work where he managed to combine film with ballet and street theatre in the most complete way. The film set was transformed into a scene of a ritual, he exchanged word for dance, ceremonial behaviour and visually refined frames - and in Jancsó's films, they always tell more than conventional dialogues.

Rafał Syska

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