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Budapest Hungarian Film Week
Pesti Műsor's Prize via People's choice
(1995, feature, 35mm, colour, 98 min.)
Director of photography:
Hunnia Film Studio
After horserace it is theatre, his other serious passion Róbert Koltai has now made a film about. Working as a buyer for a glaziery, Ottó Szamba Sr. Is also the center of cultural activities in the small town near Budapest: he organizes festivals, a pioneer's rowing squad, a choir, but first of all an amateur theatre group and its performances. Thanks to his activity, all the children in the town want to be actors, except for Ottó jr. who is ashamed of his father's habit of overacting everything on stage as well as everyday life. After some detours however, Ottó jr. and his friend Géza end up students of the Budapest Drama School. Having received their degrees, the two young actors start their career group in the country, where they can experience all the pettiness of rural Hungary in the 70s and 80s. The film presents the characteristic figures of the company: the has been bonvivan, the alcoholic joker, the actress who is past it and the chief director who is a chess playing champion. The viewer gets a sample of the legend of Hungarian theatre. All this is so funny it makes you die of laughter - Ottó jr. actually dies of it. His death cancels only one village performance though. After all the show must go on.