The period following the turn of the century until the end of the Second World War was tumultuous throughout Europe. The end of World War I left a vacuum in much of Central and Eastern Europe. Into this space stumbled a plethora of competing ideologies and nationalism, widespread violence, poverty, disease and unemployment. Choosing sides was a dangerous game. This is the setting for Miklós Jancsó’s film Silence and Cry.

After the fall of the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, reprisals soon followed. István (András Kozák) is on the run from the nationalist Royal Gendarme. As a former soldier of the Hungarian Red Army, if he’s captured he will be executed. After fleeing to the plains, he’s hidden on a farm by Teréz (Mari Töröcsik) and Anna (Andrea Drahota), two women sympathetic to his plight. They do this with the aid of Kémeri (Zoltán Latinovits), a local commander and childhood friend of István. However, when István discovers they are poisoning Teréz’s husband (József Madaras) and mother-in-law, he must weigh up his conscience against his life.

Silence and Cry is a beautifully shot and claustrophobic drama which encapsulates the suspicion and terror of the times through one individual story. Captured through a number of long takes and tracking shots, the starkness of the plains is a stunning backdrop to the tension between the players. Jancsó focusses on the minutiae of István’s circumstances, leaving him stuck between a rock and a hard place. Continuously dodging the secret police and at the mercy of others. Silence and Cry is a chilling and taut drama.

Special Edition Contents:

    • Silence and Cry (1968) presented from a brand new 2K restoration of the film by the Hungarian Digital Archive and Film Institute, supervised by the film’s cinematographer János Kende.
    • World premiere home video presentation of Miklós Jancsó s three renowned but rarely seen Jelenlét series of short films (1965-86)
    • Original Hungarian soundtrack in Dual Mono 24-bit LPCM audio
    • Booklet featuring a new essay on the film by critic and film historian Tony Rayns
    • New and improved English subtitle translation.
    • Region Free Blu-ray
    • World premiere on Blu-ray

 

Silence and Cry is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Second Run on 26 February.