This is a two-part historical film exploring themes of how one carries forward one's political idealism in the face of overwhelming military force. In the first part, set on the battlefront in 1944, two soldiers are being court-martialed by the losing Hungarian Army for having survived when their entire unit was wiped out. When the Germans complete their conquest, they decide that they will save these two men for their purposes. Atal Bojtar discovers the kinds of nefarious deeds they want him for and escapes, only to be pursued relentlessly by the Nazis. Twelve years later, in 1956, Part Two explores the armed conflict between the Hungarians who want independence from the Soviet sphere of influence, and those who don't, as Bojtar's son attempts to live up to his father's nonviolent ideals. Filled with gorgeously shot imagery, both films contain many skillfully staged battle and mob scenes but reportedly fall flat on the dramatic side, particularly when one or another character is called on to give a speech.
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