The Notebook / A nagy fuzet

War drama

Director: Janos Szasz
Country of origin: Hungary 
Release Year: 2013
Runtime: 109 min
Starring: Andras Gyémánt, Laszlo Gyémánt, Eyongyver BognarAwards: Karlovy Vary IFF 2013 - Crystal Globe; Label Europa Cinemas Award, Haifa IFF2013 - Special Mention Award


Shadows had enshrouded Egyik's and Masik's childhood when the war began. Sent to their grandmother's house, every day, boys see the terror and cruelty and not only outside, but also in their hearth and home. Grandma treats the twins harshly and without mercy. They have to work for their food, have no time to play and cannot even hope for any expression of love or affection. Life in these conditions teaches the boys the difficult art of survival. The rules of life become increasingly clear to them: one needs to take care only of oneself, no one can trust anyone, the enemy might be lurking around every corner. Children's innocence disappears from their eyes. Unexpected encounter with someone from their pastI will determine if there is any innocence left in their hearts.

On the screen, Szasz creates a film that can be compared to "Fateless" by Lajos Koltai. He selects a picture of the war deprived of happy endings, war that he perceives as a mechanism that sucks illusions and hopes from the children's hearts and corrupts them. He shows, step by step, as the boys begin to read the world as a place full of cruelty and devoid of morality, where adulthood equals ruthlessness. When deliverance comes and could give them a piece of childhood, it is already too late. Their survival instinct, nursed for years, takes over and predominates over sentiments and the good that seem to have completely left the hearts of the twins.  

Urszula Lipińska