Thursday 22 August 2019

Adoption [1975]

Hungarian filmmaker Márta Mészáros, who’s best known for her profound, haunting, politically powerful and intensely personal masterwork ‘Diary Tetralogy’ – comprising of Diary for My Children, Diary for My Lovers, Diary for My Father and Mother and Little Vilma – achieved a key landmark by becoming the first woman filmmaker to win the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival with her movie Adoption. Unlike the ‘Diary’-series, which had an absorbing scope both thematically and temporally, this was a tightly focused tale set over a few days and centered around 2 women – Kata (Katalin Berek), a 43-year old widowed working-class woman who’s employed in a state-owned factory, lives alone in a small cottage in the countryside, is in a clandestine relationship with a married man, and is keen to become a mother; and Anna (Gyöngyvér Vigh), a disaffected girl in her late teens who lives in a state orphanage as she has been abandoned by her parents, and hopes to run away from it in order to marry the guy she’s in love with, but, ironically, needs her parents’ consent to do so. The two forms a bond, as the latter needs help for her affair to proceed, while the lonely middle-aged Katya finds her fading hopes for motherhood, and perhaps friendship too, kindled. The seeming contrasts aside, this too was filled with, like the afore-mentioned series, affecting and intimate portrayals on deftly developed female characters, and had a stirring feminist subtext. Filled with candid close-ups in soft B/W captured through a gently roving camera, and interspersed with a beautiful, melancholic score, this contemplative exercise in social realism remains a matured and naturalistic exploration of social emancipation and womanhood.

Director: Marta Meszaros
Genre: Drama/Social Drama
Language: Hungarian
Country: Hungary

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