Monday, 18 November 2013

Így Jöttem (My Way Home) [1965]

The physical and emotional toll of wars and conflicts on common everyday folks, and the curious games that captors and prisoners often get engaged in, were recurring themes in a number of Jancso’s films, and Így Jöttem, one of his earlier and more accessible works but albeit an obscure bittersweet gem, was no exception. It also wonderfully portrayed loss of innocence through an unlikely friendship that literally crossed boundaries drawn by linguistic hurdles, national colours and political sentiments, against a backdrop of fear and anger. A 17-year old Hungarian guy (András Kozák), while trying to make his way to home through the uncharted fields and landscapes of the war-torn country just after the collapse of Nazi Germany, falls into the hands of the Soviets. After a brief time in a make-shift area containing purported POWs, he is transferred to the custody of a young Russian soldier (Sergei Nikonyenko) stationed in the middle of nowhere. The heart-rending bond that the two young men gradually develop, despite their languages being mutually unintelligible, formed the heart of the film. Their attachment grows stronger when the latter becomes nearly invalid because of an earlier injury sustained, which makes the former, against the prevalent social sentiment, to don Soviet uniform in order to coax assistance out of stray people, much to the chagrin of those who later identify his bluff. The most memorable aspect of this beautifully photographed and choreographed film was its episodic nature wherein a number of small, and seemingly unconnected, mundane incidents, through a largely visual approach, add up to the whole in providing perceptive picture of the time and place.

Director: Miklos Jancso
Genre: Drama/War Drama/Buddy Film
Language: Hungarian
Country: Hungary

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