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A tanú AKA The Witness (1969) Film of the Week #286

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A tanú AKA The Witness (1969) Film of the Week #286


Post by Cocoa » June 23rd, 2019, 4:17 pm

Film of the Week #286: A tanú AKA The Witness (1969)


Banned for over a decade for its outspoken criticism of the post-WWII communist regime in Hungary, Péter Bacsó's 'The Witness' has since then achieved unparalleled cult status in its native land. Known as the best satire about communism, 'The Witness' has become a cult classic, which was also well received by critics and general audiences alike when it was finally released outside of Hungary. Its candid and realistic portrayal of the incompetent communist regime has earned great acclaim for both the director and the film itself when it was shown at Cannes Film Festival in 1981. 'The Witness' takes place during the height of the Rákosi Era, which was closely modeled after the ruthless and brutal Stalin regime. The film follows the life of an ordinary dike keeper, József Pelikán, who has been caught for illegally slaughtering his pig, Dezsõ. Instead of doing hard time for his "heinous" crime, Pelikán is elevated into an important position, generally reserved for the communist elite. Of course, Pelikán is utterly clueless about his newfound luck, not to mention his new job. Even his new benefactor, the mysterious Comrade Virág, is reluctant to reveal the real reason behind Pelikán's preferential treatment. Thus, begins Pelikán's hilarious adventure deep within the "sophisticated" communist society.
One failure after another the incompetent Pelikán is elevated higher and higher on the communist echelon, all the while remaining completely clueless about his promotions. Until one day, when he gets called for to return the "favour" by falsely testifying against his long-time friend in a mock-up show trial.
#670 on 1000<400, with 186 checks.
Nominated by blocho and Minkin.
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#670(⇧91, #761) A tanú (1969)
[The Witness]

Directed by: Péter Bacsó
(223.82 Pts, 5 Votes) , Top 1–10–50: 0–1–1
History: 670761726543NA←NA
ICheckMovies: 184 Checks , 30 Favourites , 1 Official list
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This movie fits the current Banned Films Challenge.

Here is a schedule of all the FotWs.

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Post by joachimt » June 23rd, 2019, 7:43 pm

Watched it 7 years ago. Rated it 7. Don't remember it.
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Post by weirdboy » June 24th, 2019, 12:42 am

I liked this satire quite a bit. It's quite a dark comedy but I enjoyed the humor and thought this was a better "show trial" film that Costa-Gavras' The Confession.

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Post by outdoorcats » June 24th, 2019, 8:31 am

It's one of the all-time funniest films I've ever seen as well as one of my favorites. :cheers:

[a LION eats GOD. Gunshots ring out. MATT turns around]
MATT: That's the guy I was telling you about.

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