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613 Ratings

The Red and the White

Csillagosok, katonák

Directed by Miklós Jancsó
Hungary, Soviet Union, 1967
Drama, History


Set in 1919, during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Miklós Jancsó’s The Red and the White is a war film unlike any other. In the brutal Civil War which took place, Hungarian volunteers supported the ‘Red’ revolutionaries in a war of attrition against the ‘White’ counter-revolutionaries.

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The Red and the White Directed by Miklós Jancsó
Jancsó is a figure whose immense achievement has been obscured by relentlessly changing tastes and fashions in film culture. His nihilistic view of politics as an absurd game in which de-invidualized characters ceaselessly swap sides, and swing from the position of abused to abuser, is no easier or more comforting to swallow now than it was in the 1960s. But no one can doubt the extraordinary strides that Jancsó took in forging a dynamic aesthetic form from the device of the long take.
January 21, 2017
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The opening shot of The Red and the White shows armed riders on horseback rushing gallantly toward the camera in slow motion. It is the type of heroic imagery one associates with a valiant depiction of soldiers heading off to battle, to fight the good fight for a lofty cause. But in this outstanding 1967 film from Miklós Jancsó, one of the great anti-war testaments, such iconic and potentially promotional action is never to be seen again.
January 21, 2017
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Jancsó communicates an obvious humanist anger in the shock of the matter of fact violence and murder of warfare, but more than this he also delivers a hallucinatory game of cat and mouse that largely ignores the specifics of history and politics to meditate on human nature.
September 15, 2015
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