Sweet Emma, Dear Böbe
(Édes Emma, drága Böbe)

feature, 81 minutes



The heroines in the title of this dramatic story are young women who taught Russian at primary school during the former regime. But times have changed. After the fall of Communism, Russian is no longer a compulsory subject in schools. Böbe and Emma try to requalify as English teachers, but they only remain one step ahead of their pupils. They don’t fare much better in their private lives, either. They can’t afford their own flat, so they have to share a room in a hostel. What’s more, Emma is having an affair with the school’s married headmaster which is going nowhere, and Böbe gets into trouble with the police for her lucrative liaisons with wealthy foreigners. Their aspirations that the new post-Communist environment would allow them the kind of social status they enjoyed under the old regime, essentially come to nothing… This impressionistic essay tells of the loss of an outwardly secure world built on false foundations.

The film by legend of Hungarian film István Szabó won the Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF, and the European Film Award for Best Screenplay.


István Szabó Director
István Szabó Screenplay
Lajos Koltai Director of photography
Eszter Kovács Editor
Mihály Móricz, Tibor Bornai, Feró Nagy, Robert Schumann Music
György Kovács Sound
Attila Kovács Visual design
Zsuzsa Stenger Costumes
Gabriella Grósz Producer
Objektív Film Studio, Manfred Durniok Production Production company
Johanna Ter Steege, Enikő Börcsök, Péter Andorai Cast


European Film Academy - 1992 Félix Prize for Best European Screenplay - István Szabó, Nominated for Best European Actress - Johanna Ter Steege
Roma Independent Film Festival - 1992 Olasz Filmkritikusok Szövetsége
Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival - 1992 Silver Bear
Lagów International Film Festival - 2000 Diamond Grapes Prize


Göttingen International Film Festival - 1999
London Film Festival - 1999
Havanna International Film Festival - 1994
Wiesbaden GoEast Film Festival - 2004

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