Le Grand Cahier
(A nagy füzet)

feature, 35mm, 100 minutes

co-produced with: Germany Austria France


In a village on the Hungarian border, two young brothers grow up during war time with their cruel grandmother and must learn every trick of evil to survive in the absurd world of adults.
Based on Agota Kritóf‘s famous and bestselling novel of the same titel (Le Grand Cahier).

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 rumoured to have poisoned her husband long ago.
Previously pampered, the twins must learn how to survive alone in their new, rural surroundings. They realise that the only way to cope with the absurd and inhumane world of adults and war is to become completely unfeeling and merciless. By learning to free themselves from hunger, pain and emotion, they will be able to endure future hardships. So they begin their own series of studies: they fortify their spirits by reading the Bible and learning foreign languages. They practice every day to harden their bodies and minds. They hold their hands over flames, cut their legs, arms and chests with a knife and pour alcohol right on their wounds. They desensitize themselves to insults and learn to ignore the more insidious appeals of sentiment and love.
The twins keep a written record of all they have witnessed during the war, the Notebook. When they write, they follow their own strict code: The prose must be free from emotion, the notes precise and objective.

2013 - Hungarian Film Festival in Los Angeles:
Best Film
Best Actress: Piroska Molnár
Best Actors: András Gyémánt és László Gyémánt


János Szász Director
János Szász, András Szekér Screenplay
Christian Berger Director of photography
Szilvia Ruszev Editor
Jóhann Jóhannsson Music
István Sipos Sound
István Galambos Art director
János Breckl Costumes
Pál Sándor, Sándor Söth Producer
Hunnia Film Studio, Intuit Pictures / DE Production company
Amour Fou Filmproduktion / AT, Dolce Vita Films / FR Co-producer
László Gyémánt, András Gyémánt, Piroska Molnár, Ulrich Thomsen, Ulrich Matthes, Orsi Tóth, Péter Andorai Cast


Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - 2013 Grand Prix - Crystal Globe
Haifa International Film Festival - 2013 Special Mention
Chicago International Film Festival - 2013 Piroska Molnár - Jury Special Mention
Les Arcs European Film Festival - 2013 Young Jury Prize
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - 2013 Europa Cinemas Label


Vukovar Film Festival - 2014 (in competition)
Helsinki Love & Anarchy International Film Festival - 2014
Luxembourg CinÉast - 2014
Toronto International Film Festival - 2013
Busan International Film Festival - 2013
London Film Festival - 2013
Adelaide International Film Festival - 2013
Arras L'Autre Cinema - 2013 (in competition)
Hamburg Filmfest - 2013 (in competition)
Hamptons International Film Festival - 2013
Stockholm International Film Festival - 2013
Săo Paulo International Film Festival - 2013
Seville Film Festival - 2013 (in competition)
Kiev MOLODIST International Film Festival - 2013
Palm Springs International Film Festival - 2014
Trieste Film Festival - 2014 (in competition)
Leeuwarden Noordelijk  Film Festival - 2014
Guadalajara International Film Festival - 2014
Copenhagen CPH:PIX - 2014
Cluj-Napoca Transilvania - 2014
Ivanovo Zerkalo - 2014 (in competition)
Palic International Film Festival - 2014

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