Production: Hungary, 1965
Director: Miklós Jancsó
US release title: The Round-Up
Category: War Atrocity
In the desolate aftermath of Kossuth’s 1848 rebellion against the oppressive Hapsburg Austrian Empire, the last remaining nationalists are imprisoned and subjected to physical and psychological torture. Framed in stark black-and-white images of devastation, violence, oppression, terror, corruption, and betrayal, rituals of death are played out daily beneath an implacable sun. Jansco’s epic studies of conflict and oppression were remarkable for their stark zones pitched midway between reality and abstraction, where human figures are pitched hopelessly on tides of cruelty and massacre. In Szegénylegények, the atrocities extend to a woman being stripped naked and beaten to death with canes, prompting the suicide of her despairing husband.

Posted by Captain Nightshade

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