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RENGETEG – MIDENHOL LATLAK (2021, MAĐ)

The Hungarian modernist Benedek Fliegauf, whose work European critics used to compare with the work of his much more famous compatriot Bela Tarr, presented himself in Berlin with an omnibus composed of six stories whose title could be translated as “Forest, I see you everywhere”. It is an interesting film both stylistically and narratively, the action of which mostly takes place in interiors, and it is shot in long, continuous shots with a shaking hand-held camera that seems to enhance the feeling of restlessness, discomfort and trauma that all the characters face. “Rengeteg” is a film without a clear narrative line, in which scenes of conversations and confrontations between characters that have in common that they have been marked by some traumatic event or trauma follow one after the other.

All these stories and all these characters deal with emotions that we don’t really want to feel, so the scenes and topics of conversation revolve around death, fanaticism, insincerity, hypocrisy and fake and real spirituality. This film seems like an interesting experiment and all the actors are up to the task, and the conversations that usually turn into arguments are extremely intriguing, philosophical, deep and smart. In the first story, we have a teenage girl who blames her father for the death of her mother, but his response to the accusations is equally brutal. Then we have a story about a jealous girl who is angry with her boyfriend because he lent a camera to a girl with whom he once cheated on her, and it seems that girl has disappeared and that’s why she doesn’t return the camera. Then we have the quarrel of partners with a big age difference, and in the fourth the story revolves around an older guy, a former heroin addict who has to have an operation the next day that he will most likely not survive.

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The fifth, and the best story for me, brings a fight between a religious mother and a 14-year-old son who was punished in religious education for playing some role-playing fantasy games. Mom is convinced that this is a detour to Satanism, and the small and cynical genius perfectly exposes Mom’s and general Christian hypocrisy and stupidity. In the sixth story, we have a young man who tries to persuade a former hitman to explain to him the secret trades in order to kill a self-help guru whom he holds responsible for the death of a girl who died of cancer. Instead of treatment, the 23-year-old girl decided to follow the path of self-help and all those idiocies that we constantly see on the Internet in which the worst human scum exploits human suffering for their own enrichment. All these stories contain a twist, a surprise or a real catharsis, and nothing is as it seems at the beginning of the conversation, and at the end this minimalist film turned out to be a completely correct and interesting content.

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