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From the Archive: Treasures of Eastern European and Soviet Cinema

Friday, June 21, 2013
7:00 p.m. The Girl
Márta Mészáros (Hungary, 1968)

(Eltávozott nap). In her first feature, Márta Mészáros achieved a rare and delicate balance, the depiction of personal relationships and needs within a finely observed political context. A lonely young working-class woman who has grown up in an orphanage seeks her real mother, only to find herself being passed off as a niece. Told in intuitive vignettes, the story has autobiographical elements: Mészáros, born in 1931, grew up an orphan and a perpetual foreigner after her parents (the sculptor László Mészáros and his wife), who had emigrated to the Soviet Union, perished in Stalin’s concentration camps. In this as in many of her other films, she depicts a profound restlessness and a search for personal truth among not one, but two generations of women, and examines the stratifications within Hungarian society that leave youth of both sexes alienated.

• Written by Mészáros. Photographed by Tamás Somló. With Kati Kovács, Teri Horváth, Adám Szirtes, Gábor Agárdi. (80 mins, In Hungarian with English subtitles, B&W, 35mm, PFA Collection)