People of the Mountains (Emberek a havason)
A Film By István Szőts
Release Date: 29 August 2016
Arguably the most gifted Hungarian filmmaker of his generation, István Szőts has been compared by critics to Ford, Vigo and Renoir.
His forgotten masterpiece, People of the Mountains, is the story of a woodcutter and his family who live high in mountains of Transylvania.
Forced out of their home, they are enticed into working for the very company that ejected them, only for their lives to begin to unravel one tragic misfortune after another.
Shot almost entirely on location in harsh mountain conditions, using mostly non- professional actors, with a devotion to realism and the details of daily life, this was a groundbreaking film and an indictment of the prevailing conditions.
Szőts’ auspicious debut was, however, refused a distribution license by Nazi minister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels and condemned as ‘Communist propaganda’.
In spite of this, the film went on to win a major prize at the 1942 Venice Film Festival and later cited as an early model for the post-war Italian Neorealist movement, praised by Vittorio De Sica and Cesare Zavattini among others.
A powerful, elemental vision suffused with poetic lyricism and a romantic anti-capitalist zeal, People of the Mountains is the jewel of Hungarian cinema of the period.
• Presented from a brand new 2K digital restoration from original nitrate image and sound negatives, supervised by the Hungarian National Digital Archive.
• Original Hungarian soundtrack in mono audio.
• 16-page booklet featuring a new essay by author and Hungarian cinema specialist John Cunningham.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• MORE TBC