© Laokoon Filmgroup, Playtime, Hungarian National Film Fund

Sunset (Napszállta)
Hungary/France 2018

Opening 13 Jun 2019

Directed by: László Nemes
Writing credits: László Nemes, Clara Royer, Matthieu Taponier
Principal actors: Juli Jakab, Susanne Wuest, Vlad Ivanov, Evelin Dobos, Levente Molnár

Set in elegant 1913 Budapest at the end of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire (Monarchy), with the awakening of its revolution against the aristocracy, the streets only appear to be quiet. Orphaned as a small child (her parents had died in an accident), young hat maker Irisz Leiter (Juli Jakab) arrives in the city and first applies for a job at Leiters, the famous millinery that had belonged to her family. Now run by Oszkár Brill (Vlad Ivanov), he refuses to hire her but takes advantage of her family name keeping her in his retinue. Irisz's real goal is to find out what happened to her family and search for her lost brother. We follow this quest through her eyes, her head silhouette often filling the screen with blurred action in the background, as if she is the everyman experiencing the downfall of civilization. Although intriguing, with strong sexual undertones, so many innuendos become confusing and repetitive during 142 minutes. However, the film, which I watched in Hungarian with German subtitles, is a strong artistic and political statement. Costumes are sumptuous, as are the hats!  (Nancy Tilitz)

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