The title, Goldberg Variations, refers to a collection of compositions by the Baroque classical composer J.S. Bach. Like any good jazz improvisation, the Goldberg Variations take a familiar theme and bend it, twist it, even mutilate it some. In this story, the surviving parents of a child suicide relive their lives with their deceased son, obsessively reviewing what they did, what they might have done, and what could possibly have gone wrong. In fact, they are exploring every possible variation on their previous lives, until the final, tragic conclusion. As is often the case with films from former Iron Curtain countries, many of the events in this film could also be read as metaphors for the (current) Hungarian political situation.
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