Yet Spring Shower is not like a work by, for example, Mariassy, a sociological expose which strives for authenticity above all. Fejos’s film is, if not exactly pure poetry, at least largely fable. Its narrative is simple and exemplary; it has little dialogue although much music; it relies on striking, repeated motifs such as the flowering tree; its manner is sophisticatedly naif; it presents a world of feeling, not of fact; its conclusion is a matter of transcendence, not accommodation. Spring Shower is a fairy-tale, therefore, not a realistic account of the difficult life of one particularly ill-used servant girl. Its aim is imaginative truth rather than observation of reality. It gives us the story of an outsider, a girl like Cinderella who is cut off from the good things of life through no fault of her own, but who in the end magically achieves consolation (and, with the spring shower, even the capacity to influence events). It could hardly be thought that the film offers anything like advice to girls in Mari’s position. Instead, it appeals to the emotions, affecting the audience by the uplifting power of its vision, not by the feasibility of its narrative. The spare, stylized cinematography by Istvan Eiben and Marlay Pawerell adds to the impression of the legend that the film wishes to convey, and Annabella gives a charming, luminous performance as the archetypical Mari. Altogether, Spring Shower is remarkable: an exception to the documentary rule which governs the modern Hungarian cinema and one of the most intensely metaphoric works of the 1930s.
Paul Fejos (January 27, 1897 – April 23, 1963) was a Hungarian-born director of feature films and documentaries who worked in a number of countries including the United States. He also studied medicine in his youth and became a prominent anthropologist later in life
Fejos was born in Budapest, Hungary as Pál Fejös to parents Desiré Fejös and the former Aurora Novelly. He had one older sister, Olga Fejös. Like many film directors, Fejos exaggeratd or invented myths for large portions of his life story and according to him his father was a captain with the Hussars and his mother was a Lady-in-waiting for the Austrian-Hungarian Empress, and that as a youth Fejos himself was an official of the Imperial Court. The truth was that his mother’s family originated from Italy but did have an aristocratic background and his father was a pharmacist in Dunaföldvár. Shortly before Fejos was born his father sold his business and moved the family to Budapest in order to buy a shop there, but… read more