Salmons of the St. Lawrence River
(A Szent Lőrinc folyó lazacai)
(2002, feature, 35mm, colour, 120 min., 1:1,66, DolbySR)
Director of photography:
Antonio Maria Magro
At an exhibition in Szentendre of the collections of artists of the so-called European School two Sicilian friends, Paolo and Filippo, meet two Hungarian-Canadian girls: Viola, who is emotional and introverted, with dreamy eyes, and Matyi, who is temperamental, but superficial and light-minded.
Seeing the pictures of Lili Országh, an artist who died young, Viola feels as if she had already experienced the emotions put into the pictures, the figures, and the objects in them. With all her might she begins a search for her roots. The two girls know almost nothing of their relations, since in their families they never talked about the reasons for emigration. After an unfortunate period of their early adulthood they had fled to Europe, which for them had represented a kind of Eldorado. They look for rich husbands who can provide them with peaceful and secure lives. They travel backwards on the road their parents took, like the salmons of the St. Lawrence River. After knowing each other for just a few days a perfect understanding formed between the two couples. For Filippo and Matyi the whole thing is nothing more than a fleeting affair. However, Paolo, who up to now had wrapped himself in the loneliness of a widower, rediscovers true love. At the same time Viola is not deterred even by her ever intensifying feelings for Paolo to find her true self and freedom.
The two couples reunite in Agrigento, but in the end they break up. They all return to their own lives: Filippo writes reports, Matyi is close to realising her great plan; it is only Paolo who is unable to let go of Viola. He revisits all the locations that hold memories connected to the girl, but in vain: the girl is nowhere to be found. Viola, who finally found her true self, has disappeared for good, as if the earth had simply swallowed her up.