(A Rózsa énekei)
feature, 35mm, 98 minutes, 1:1.85
PREMIER (HUNGARY): 2003.
Autumn 1944. Yellow stars, ghettos, the terror of the Hungarian Nazis.
The Jewish population of the Hungarian capital await the fulfilment of their tragic fate with helpless resignation. Despite the tangible horrors of the streets there is a beam of hope in the sky - if only for a moment - above the garden of a city villa. What happens but for a few moments lends strength to the hearts of those hiding here, and from day to day the embers of hope are kept burning in their harrowed souls.
This mysterious strength comes from a song, which every evening resonates from the turret room of the villa. It is the belief of Géza Halász, one of the villa residents, that no Jew needs fear as long as the owner of the voice producing this song - Imre Rózsa, who is himself a Jew and a world renowned opera singer - remains in Budapest, despite his American, British, Swiss, Swedish and Vatican connections, which would allow him to flee whenever he chose. Every evening at seven, Halász pays a visit to the singer bringing with him a bag full of food, and they dine together.
And one day after the other the mysterious song resounds.
Nobody wonders why the eccentric singer does not try to make himself known to his fellow Jews seeking shelter in the house. Only fourteen-year-old Tomi, the son of the Halász family, listens to the evening singing with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion, and is spurred to discover the secret of the turret room. The adolescent is persistent, and his determined investigations uncover the strange mystery of the opera singer. In the meantime and in the midst of the whirling events of these days fraught as they are with danger, Tomi matures into a man without being aware himself of the changes taking place within him.
The story is based on the real experiences of a Budapest family.
|Elemér Ragályi||Director of photography|
|Ave Maria, László Benkő||Music|
|Tibor Lázár||Visual design|
|Endre Nagy Dr.||Producer|
|Grant Film||Production company|
|Maia Morgenstern, Dávid Zum, Ildikó Bánsági, Franco Castellano||Cast|
|Prague Nine Gates Film Festival - 2005||Golden Menora|
|Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - 2003||Special Jury Mention|
|Houston Worldfest - 2004||Platinum Remi Prize|
|Budapest Hungarian Film Week - 2003||Best Screenplay: Andor Szilágyi|
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