During the Cold War, communist states were great supporters of their filmmakers. As long as they were telling stories which aligned with their ideology, that is. Writers and directors regularly walked a tightrope between individuality and prison. This reflected daily life for ordinary citizens. Living in a society where anyone could be an informer and one misstep or causal comment could cost you your liberty. This atmosphere of underlying paranoia is captured beautifully in Love.
Luca (Mari Töröcsik) is struggling to cope following the arrest of her beloved husband János (Iván Darvas) for his political activities. She has no idea whether he is dead or alive. The young woman puts on a brave face for her elderly mother-in-law (Lili Darvas), keeping up a pretence that he’s making a film in America. At the same time, Luca begins to suffer the privations of being the wife of a dissenter.
Love is essentially a story of two women. The ailing mother, lost in hazy memories of the past. Whether she believes the stories of her son’s Hollywood career is left unresolved. Then there’s the devoted wife, steadfastly keeping up appearances while struggling to survive. It works thanks to great performances from Töröcsik and Darvas alongside the inventive storytelling. Károly Makk’s masterpiece has been rightly vaunted over the years. Love remains a scathing indictment of authoritarianism, wrapped up within an often magical social-realist fable.
- Introduction to the film by its director Károly Makk.
- Digitally re-mastered with restored image and sound, approved by the Director.
- Anamorphic 16:9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.
- New and improved English subtitle translation.
Love is released on Blu-ray by Second Run on 19 September.