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Afterlife

May 30, 2015 | 2 pm
Museum of the Moving Image | 36-01 35 Ave, Astoria, NY 11106

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Afterlife (Utóélet)
Directed by Virág Zomborácz
Hungary 2014; 95 min
Original version: Hungarian
Genre: Drama
Credits
Cast
Márton Kristóf, Eszter Csákányi, József Gyabronka, László Gálffi, Andrea Petrik
Screenplay
Virág Zomborácz
Cinematography
Gergely Pohárnok
Editing
Károly Szalai
Awards
Meeting Point Best Feature - Valladolid IFF
Best Actor (Márton Kristóf) - Vilnius IFF
Press Quotes
A tender and surprising debut. - Alissa Simon , Variety
http://variety.com/2014/film/reviews/karlovy-vary-film-review-afterlife-1201261329/
Something of a delight. With some truly funny set pieces nestled within a world of misfits tinged with a hint of a ghost story, it’s a gratifyingly strange film. - Lawrence Boyce , Cineuropa
http://cineuropa.org/nw.aspx?t=newsdetail&l=en&did=259830
Synopsis
Mózes is a rather neurotic young man in his twenties who is unable to meet his pastor father’s expectations: to be active, enterprising and brave. When the pastor unexpectedly suffers a heart attack and dies, Mózes is almost relieved: there is no more pressure on him to have a career in the church. But at the reception after the funeral he notices his father’s disoriented ghost which - although it cannot speak - follows him everywhere from that moment on. Mózes panics at first, then decides to complete his father’s unfinished tasks because according to the spiritualist car repair man this is the only way to get rid of the ghost. He is helped by his late father’s polytoxicomaniac assistant in performing the pastoral responsibilities (rehearsing the Nativity play, erecting a statue of Jesus on the main square of the village, finishing pre-marital counseling for a couple). As Mózes and the female assistant get closer, he discovers things he had never experienced before. When the ghost regains his self-awareness and tries to dominate him, Mózes rebels against his father for the first time in his life.

Director's Statement
Afterlife is a coming-of-age comedy that, rather than addressing social conflicts or problems, concerns itself mainly with the issues of the individual, the instances of the human psyche. Its central motifs are father-son relationships and families, the changing of traditional values and the possibilities of human communication. The central figure is Mózes, a young man in his twenties. Initially, he would like nothing more than if nothing happened, especially nothing harmful. His surroundings, however, the women living around him and his (quite literally) haunting father continually push him into situations where he has no choice but to act. Although his actions usually end as fiascoes, they serve to shape Mózes into an independent, active, adult hero. The ghost in the film, the spirit of the father is real in the eyes of Mózes, but can just as well be regarded as a hallucination, a reaction to his anxiety, or, perhaps more accurately, as a projection of Mózes’ grieving process. The character development of the ghost is in accordance with the five phases of the grieving process (shock and denial, intense concern, despair and depression and recovery): at first, he is completely disoriented, but gradually becomes more and more focused, until he is able to accept his son as he is.

Virág Zomborácz
Virág Zomborácz (b. 1985, Budapest) completed her studies in scriptwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Theatre and Film Arts, Budapest in 2009.
In 2010 her short story, entitled Lonesome No More was published in the bestseller anthology Jungle in the Heart.
As a director she has made short films and video art pieces, including The Cats Role in French Literature, Dipendenza and Something Blue, presented at several international festivals. She also shoots commercials and has collaborated on the screenplays for television series for the Hungarian HBO.
Afterlife is her feature film debut, in 2011 the script won the MEDIA Talent Prize in Cannes.

 

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