Hajni: She fled from her partner to a home for battered women. He found her. Zita: The frying oil spilled when she was cooking, so her husband nearly beat her to death. Her young son stepped between them. Tamara: Despite her ex-husband's threats, she started a new life. She took her daughter to their former apartment for visitation. All three are mothers. All three are battered women. All three loved the men who beat them. They escaped several times, then returned. Two of them still have a chance to start over...
Mario, the Magician
At the beginning of the 1990s, not long after the change in regime, a miracle occurs in a tiny sleepy Hungarian village with the arrival of Mario, the elegant Italian shoe manufacturer. He promises jobs and wellbeing to the local women, setting the village in motion. Vera cannot resist the charisma of the Italian either. She becomes more and more enchanted by the man's special charm. And she feels the Italian is not indifferent to her either. She dreams obsessively about a better life at Mario's side.
„Why can't I give up control, and be spontaneous?” Kiki's question triggers the game off. She gives parts and lines to her companions in the psychodrama group, ready to re-play scenes from the protagonist's past. Thanks to the intimate and warm atmosphere of the group and the inspired guidance of the drama leaders, she can re-live moments of her life - this time with passion. In Kiki's story unfolds a tragedy that seems familiar to people on the East Central European scene.
There Was Once...
The film observes and unfolds a hidden segment of history and life with the help of a devoted teacher. It is based on the meticulous reconstruction of two incredible, intertwining stories: the film presents the destruction of the Jewry of the Hungarian city of Kalocsa, where today none of the Jews are to be found, who once formed a vibrant and productive community and who perished in the Hungarian Holocaust, while it follows, how a gentile teacher from a later generation carefully and systematically succeeds in unearthing that incomparable Jewish-Hungarian tragedy.
My great grandfather, János Hoffmann was born in 1895, in Szombathely, Hungary. Perished in Auschwitz, in 1944. I never met him although I could have… I could have some early recollections of his figure if there had been no Holocaust. It seems to me that my mother’s existence in this world is out of God’s special grace and so is mine, for supposing my grandmother, a young girl of 17 in 1944, had not survived Auschwitz, history would have put an end to my family tree with a great thud forever. But my grandmother stood through, here she is, along with my mother who was later born to her, and so here I am as well. And here is my great grandfather, János Hoffman, too. No, not in his physical form. He died in one of those gas chambers for doctor Mengele happened to point to the right one day. If I had had the chance to know my great grandfather I might have heard some family legends from him. He might have told me stories about the family, my background. I might have been given a clearer picture of where I was coming from, how my ancestors lived. His voice might still resound in my ears, I could remember his face the expression in his eyes, feel his vibration. Through him I could have flown back centuries into the past. I would have been able to picture true stories on the screen of my imagination, I could have asked him about facts and events… If…if…if…
Not there, not then, and not like that...
Life is a gift - but some have to struggle really hard for it. The miracle of expecting a child is a fundamental experience of human life. Everybody knows that it takes nine months until finally the exhausted mother and the happy father can take their newborn baby into their arms. But what about those babies who are not born there and then, or the way they should? What do babies and parents go through when birth unexpectedly begins before it should? What is the life of such families is going to be like? Who are the everyday heroes who take it upon themselves to look after the abiotous babies and their desperate parents? In Hungary every twelfth baby is born prematurely. The development of medicine is quite spectacular so, today, even babies born with a bodyweight of less than a 1000 grams have a chance to survive. A well-trained team is responsible for their transport, provision and medical treatment. They are fanatics - otherwise this work is unimaginable. Calls come in incessantly on weekdays as well as on holidays, day and night. Providing for such tiny creatures is such intensive work that they cannot switch off even for one minute. Machines are not enough. Besides the doctors’ therapy only the nurses’ continuous care and stroking hands can give the babies a chance for life. At the same time the badly paid doctors and nurses have also to deal with the trauma of the parents, who expected a healthy child and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a crisis. Heart rendering and fairy tale-like stories happen day after day. The story of a couple, for example, who got bound together so tightly during the time of terror and fight that they recall their child’s first months spent under intensive care with nostalgia. Or the tale of the two women who sat together by the incubators of their babies for months striking up a life-long friendship. The story of the nurse who, for decades, has always run to accompany the babies in the ambulance van be it late at night, Christmas or Sunday, whose husband sacrifices himself so that his wife can rescue the prematurely born babies. The doctor who has organized the ambulance service for the prematurely born with incredible dedication. The story of the mother whose husband left her because he simply could not bear he tragedy. Naturally, the topic raises ethical questions as well. When decisions have to be made to make sure that all the incredible effort and all the money should not be “wasted”. But when a child is born there is no time to weigh options, the life of the child must be fought for. Who would think that Kepler was born two months early and so was Newton with a bodyweight of less than 1400 grams! Churchill, Picasso and Roosevelt also belong to those who were born prematurely. Our film is a true fairy tale for adults about parental love that is able to achieve miracles, while professional humility is a miracle in itself. An emotional film about how it is possible to survive even the most dire situations and carry on with life as a better person.