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American Women's Club of Hamburg


Ferenc Török, Hungary

A train arrives in a rural town in Hungary in the summer of 1945.Two men emerge and with them are a few wooden cases. The station master panics and cycles away, telling the cart driver who will be transporting the men and their goods that he should take the long way. As the two men make their way towards the village, the tension among the townspeople slowly starts to increase, The men are Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and the townspeople want to know why they are here. As things within the town reach a fever pitch, it quickly become obvious that the people there hold many secrets and none are ready to answer for the sins of the past.

1945 is a lazy and unimaginative film which, despite making a critique of Hungarian society’s failure to address its role in the Holocaust, does very little to further the discussion. It takes an almost glacial pace as it forces the viewer over and over again to notice that the townspeople have something to hide. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what they’re hiding, and once all is revealed there isn’t much analysis. It raises themes which have been raised over and over again and doesn’t really say anything new or present overdone ideas in a new way. So while it is possible to appreciate what the filmmakers were trying to say, it would perhaps be better to stop using the Holocaust narrative as a crutch and instead get to the real heart of the political and social commentary that needs to be said. (RF)

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