“Subtle, rich, even elegant ... a beautiful movie.”
In Budapest circa 1950 a bedridden old woman (legendary Tony Award-winning stage and screen actress Lili Darvas) finds comfort in recalling fragmentary moments of happiness in a past dating back to imperial times, and in fantasies stoked by her frequently visiting daughter-in-law Luca (Mari Törőcsik) who fabricates stories of her husband János’s (Iván Darvas) glorious success as a filmmaker in New York. János is, however, imprisoned by the Stalinists in his home city and unlikely ever to see his mother again.
Károly Makk’s psychologically rich masterpiece, shot in beautiful black-and-white by János Tóth, is an adaptation of two short stories by Tibor Déry, previously a political prisoner himself, and was held back from production by the Hungarian authorities for several years before Makk’s persistence in realising the project bore fruit. Love duly won the 1971 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize.