• Hungary

The construction of large housing estates began in the 1980s. Private homes that stood in the way of the future housing complex were demolished and the people, usually against their will, were re-located; among them was the Moszny family. Only Jozsef Moszny never left. The old man still lives in the dilapidated cottage, his cows graze among the prefab buildings, and he wages a private war with bureaucrats that fine him for the devastated lawns. While by telephone he still fights for justice, he is afraid that once the reservoir by his property is filled he will lose his cattle and his home. For two years the director shot this film about a man on the margins of the modern world on location in Koloszvar, where Hungarian and Romanian are spoken. Unlike Lakatos's previous films, his native Transylvania is not portrayed as a remote folkloric corner of Europe but the front line of growing social tension. In his characteristically tense style he observes a man in the act of resisting the environment into which he is being mercilessly pulled by external forces, metaphorically represented by the remote bureaucrats. Moszny ultimately is forced to sell his cows and calves. He is part of a generation that cannot start a new life, and we know that the old man has no way of going on. The documentary sheds light on the nature of material need and powerlessness. It does not seek to justify or defend, explain or cite causes; it simply depicts a situation in which man no longer has a choice.

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