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Two men in black hats disembark from a train under a foreboding sky, setting a small town into a panic. The scene could be from a Western, except that the town is in Hungary and the black-clad men are Orthodox Jews, not gun-slinging drifters. As they walk silently behind a horse-drawn cart carrying two crates to an unknown destination, their presence elicits a spate of rumours. Adapting the short story Homecoming by Gábor T. Szántó, award-winning Hungarian director Ferenc Török stunningly captures a transitional moment in European history with one village’s actions reflecting the moral corrosion of an entire continent. Beautifully shot in black and white with a spare, melancholy score, this understated film quietly builds and ultimately packs an unexpected punch.
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