With a focus on realism and the details of daily life, István Szöts’s first film tells the story of a woodcutter who moves his family into the mountains for a better life. But the family cannot escape tragedy, even in the idyllic Alps, and their lives begin to unravel one misfortune after another.
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Although it inspired Italian neorealism, its overall aesthetic style is often Dreyeresque, which makes more sense for this deeply spiritual film. Replete in Christian pantheism and glorifying simple folk's humility and wonder towards nature's splendor, Szöts' allegory of the Fall (corruption wrought by money and lust) works to perfection in dazzling close-ups and gorgeously lit shots of luminous or ominous nature.
A Hungarian tragedy shot in a highly Neorealistic style (the film is believed to have influenced it) about a struggling peasant family being thrown into a roller-coaster of awful, horrible, most terrible bad luck. There’s a moment on a train where someone is taking their deceased partner to another city because they couldn't afford the means of proper transportation, which is an unforgettable cinematic moment.